After any type of accident, many victims experience some sort of bodily injury. As a result, it’s crucial to select the right type of doctor to treat your injuries. Timely treatment will not only allow you to appropriately heal, but will also give you a better chance of receiving proper compensation for your personal injury claim. Victims typically select their doctors from several healthcare backgrounds – chiropractic, medical, or physical therapy. So, when choosing between chiropractic, medical, and physical therapy, where should you seek treatment? Let’s take a closer look at your healthcare options.
Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that diagnoses and treats disorders that affect general health by focusing on the brain and spine. A chiropractor’s main goal is to restore function and stability to the spine. Unlike most healthcare professionals, chiropractors are trained specifically to detect and correct Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). VSC is the underlying cause of many health problems. It occurs when the spine is not properly aligned, thereby interfering with the nervous system. Misalignments can cause back pain, neck pain, and headaches, among other ailments.
When it comes to treating VSC, chiropractors believe in the body’s natural ability to heal itself. They believe that in most instances medications and surgeries are options of last resort, which makes chiropractic unique from many other healthcare practices. Rather than surgically removing a herniated disc, for example, chiropractors use non-invasive spinal manipulation to try and achieve the same result.
Chiropractors base their practices on the idea that, in many cases, a misaligned spine causes the patient’s pain. Pain is an indicator that the communication between the brain and the rest of the body has interference. Through proper alignment, doctors resolve this interference. This allows the brain and the body to communicate properly again, which promotes better movement, balance, and nerve function.
Today, chiropractors treat nearly 33% of victims suffering from personal injuries caused in accidents. This is because most common accident injuries include whiplash, herniated discs, and head injuries.
Chiropractic clinics offer many advantages to personal injury victims, including:
- Treating the source of pain, rather than its symptoms
- Providing powerful, natural pain relief to any affected areas of the body
- Providing low-risk treatment methods that are non-invasive
- Offering customizable treatment methods
- Providing less financially stressful options as opposed to costly medications and invasive procedures
- Avoiding the possibility of opioid addictions
Medical doctors are the more traditional option for personal injury treatment. They specifically focus on treating the patient’s injury through options like prescription medications and more invasive treatments such as surgery or injections. These methods treat the symptoms caused by the injury and not the source of the injury itself.
Medical doctors are also the best choice for patients who sustain internal injuries, broken bones, open wounds or infectious diseases as the result of an accident. Although they may not offer complete musculoskeletal solutions like chiropractors, medical doctors offer several benefits for personal injury patients, such as:
- Providing immediate results in emergency situations
- Providing prescription medications for quick and effective pain relief
- Resolving injuries that exceed structural imbalance or soft tissue injuries
- Providing treatment options such as surgery and injections when conservative chiropractic care is not enough to resolve the injuries
Physical therapists typically help personal injury victims develop and restore maximum movement and function in the affected part of the body. They particularly serve to teach patients how to rebuild strength, flexibility, range of motion, coordination, balance, and general mobility. Similar to chiropractors, physical therapists educate their patients on the underlying cause of their pain or discomfort. They then provide hands-on, non-invasive techniques to restore the affected body part. In some cases, chiropractors or medical doctors recommend that their patients attend physical therapy after their treatment plans have been competed because physical therapy offers many advantages, including:
- Providing pain relief and recovery solutions through consistent hands-on treatment
- Helping prevent loss of muscle function through personalized treatment methods
- Reducing overall recovery time for certain injuries through active exercises
- Offering a safe way to prevent an injury from getting worse by teaching correct rehab techniques
Depending on your injury, visiting more than one of the discussed healthcare specialists could be the best solution for a full recovery. This exact belief is what makes the model at Integrated Spine & Disc unique in the field of personal injury. Dr. Paul Gordon’s practice espouses the integrative approach of combining the disciplines of chiropractic, medical, and rehab. Dr. Gordon has assembled an experienced and highly-qualified team of medical professionals who work together to give patients the best chance at healing. Our medical doctors, chiropractors, and ELDOA-certified rehab coaches combine their experience to provide patients with a wide range of treatment options, including pain management, chiropractic care, active therapies, and passive therapies.
When a personal injury patient presents to the clinic, they are evaluated by both a chiropractor and a medical doctor who then collaborate to create a specialized treatment plan for each and every patient. No treatment plan is exactly alike. For example, if a patient’s pain is so unbearable that it prevents proper therapies, then the medical doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatories or mild pain relievers to manage the swelling and/or pain in order to begin effective therapies.
Another example is if the patient has internal injuries, those injuries can be treated by the medical doctor while the chiropractic team treats the other injuries. The treatment plans offered to our patients are endless, but they all have the same purpose: to give that patient the best chance at healing by incorporating a multitude of treatment techniques.
The Benefits of Our Clinic’s Integrative Approach
A major advantage of using our clinic is that patients are prescribed active therapy administered by certified rehab coaches. Proper rehabilitation after a traumatic injury is a vital part of the healing process. It particularly makes the difference between returning to pre-injury status, having limited range of motion, or not being able to move at all. As a result, Dr. Paul J. Gordon and his rehab team offer recovery services for nearly every condition.
In order to meet the needs of every patient, we promote both active and passive physical therapy services. With such a wide array of recovery options, our program has become well known for its uniqueness. Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons throughout New Orleans thus regularly refer patients to our clinic for evaluation and treatment.
In addition, our rehab staff is certified in ELDOA, a stretching and strengthening technique used to target a specific joint for spinal decompression and pain relief. Our rehab protocols typically integrate various modalities, including traditional exercises, mind-body fitness, soft-tissues therapies, and orthopedic rehabilitation. Throughout the entirety of the treatment program, our doctors will fully assess the patient’s progress.
Overall, the benefits afforded by our rehab team are vast:
- Restoration of function following injury or illness
- Return to sports recreation and work
- Improved health, strength, movement and safety
- Muscle strengthening & coordination
- Improved range of motion
- Pain reduction
- Edema (swelling) reduction
- Improved balance and vestibular function
- Wellness & return to recreational activities
In addition to these services, our doctors may refer a patient for diagnostic medical testing (MRIs, EMG/NCV, CT scans) or to an additional specialist. Whether a patient requires an orthopedist or a neurosurgeon, our clinic has a network of specialists who understand the high level of care we provide our patients.
So Where Should You Seek Treatment?
So, if you have been in an accident, you truly do not have to decide between a chiropractor, a medical doctor, or a physical therapist. You can simply choose the practice of Dr. Paul J. Gordon at Integrated Spine & Disc. We are here to help by offering a multi-disciplinary practice. Regardless of the nature and severity of a patient’s injuries, the doctors at Integrated Spine & Disc can provide appropriate medical treatment to give the patient the best chance at healing.