Whether you are injured in a car wreck, at work, or in any other type of accident, the resulting pain may impact your life in a big way. It can quickly become a source of emotional, financial and, of course, physical stress. It’s critical to address the pain as quickly as possible.
Here are some ways to help you get relief after your accident.
See a physician immediately
When you get hurt you should go to the doctor. Seems simple enough. But there are actually a few reasons people don’t see a physician right away. For you it may be time, money or a “let’s just wait and see” mindset.
Whatever the reason, getting a professional opinion is always the right thing to do after an accident. Period. So whether your accident happened today or a year ago the first step in managing your pain is to go to the doctor.
Ensure the physician orders diagnostic tests
While seeing a doctor is your first step to pain treatment, ensuring they order diagnostic testing is one of the reasons it’s so important. X-rays can help determine if you have any broken bones. A CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can help detect soft tissue damage like herniated disks, organ damage, muscle tears, etc.
Imaging helps physicians accurately diagnose patients. It also provides a snapshot of your body right after the accident. Should you decide later to pursue legal action you have strong evidence to prove your case.
Because of imaging availability physicians can be reluctant to order an MRI or a CT. This will most likely be the case if you have waited a longer period of time after your accident to be seen as it can be assumed you’re not in critical condition. In this case you must advocate for yourself and insist on them.Take confidence that imaging and diagnostic testing are essential in diagnosing the cause of your pain. If a physician still doesn’t order soft tissue imaging, seek a second opinion immediately.
CT scans and MRI’s can also be used to diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can lead to a host of problems down the road including: chronic headaches/migraines, stress, anxiety, and PTSD. These ailments can greatly affect your life at home and at work. It is in your best interest to address them immediately to avoid worsening conditions.
How To Manage Your Ongoing Pain
Once you’ve seen a physician and received the appropriate imaging the doctor will recommend treatment based on the diagnosis or refer you to a specialist. However, there are lots of different options you can take should your pain continue after your initial visit, beyond returning to that same doctor.
1. Find a pain care specialist
If you’re still experiencing pain you may consider seeing a pain care specialist. These are physicians focused on helping to ease the pain of patients in chronic or acute pain. This can include minor procedures such as injections to assist specific body parts with recovery and/or prescription of temporary pain medication to aid in the results of your treatment. They may also refer you to a physical therapist.
2. Request a referral to a physical therapist
Physical therapy (PT) is designed to help relieve pain and improve movement after an injury. A certified professional will run a series of physical tests (balance, reflexes, strength) to assess areas of improvement. They will take you through a series of exercises to help you strengthen weak muscles. They often will recommend that you repeat these exercises at home twice daily. Some physical therapists may also make alignment adjustments and even perform alternative treatments (i.e. massage, dry needling, electrical stimulation, etc)
3. Look for a chiropractor
Chiropractors can treat your pain by addressing the structure of your body. They will make adjustments to your skeletal and muscle systems to improve alignment and function. They do not prescribe medication but take a whole body approach which often supplements to assist in your recovery.
BONUS – It may seem counterintuitive to contact a personal injury law firm for recommendations on pain but the best way to treat your injuries is to call us at 512-600-1000. If you have issues making it to your appointments, we can help! We may be able to get you a taxi/rideshare accommodation, or a loaner vehicle can be acquired, to make sure you don’t miss any appointments. Over the last 15 years we have gotten to know the best physicians and care providers to help you treat your pain. Contact us now.