After an Accident, patients with neck and back pain are often shuffled through the American medical system without being properly diagnosed.
If you are not bleeding or having a heart attack, you will triaged out of the emergency department quickly after you are cleared for the most egregious possibilities. This is correct in that their job is only to STABILIZE you not fix you.
If you then go to the primary doctor, you will get a cursory once-over followed by a prescription for muscle relaxers.
Your GP may then send you to an ORTHOPEDIST, but that is not the right referral unless you want surgery. And although the orthopedist has the training to properly diagnose most musculoskeletal conditions, many times you are seeing a PA and not the orthopedist because he’s in the Operating room and the PA is screening YOU for surgery. And because you don’t need surgery in 95% of these cases, the PA sends you to a physical therapist….
OR your primary care sent you to the physical therapist for neck and back pain directly bypassing the orthopedist referral. OR, worse yet, sent you home to rest with pills only. This is where the problem exists in medicine with these patients.
The Physical Therapist may be great at getting rid of your symptoms (although the research shows that for SPINE they aren’t the best result without combining with Chiropractic adjustments). But the PT, is NOT TRAINED OR QUALIFIED to properly diagnose, examine, and to order the appropriate medical diagnostic tests to fully determine what is going on with you!!!
And THEREFORE, a referral to a PT without the proper diagnosis (which I see all the time in practice) not only will not give you the best laser-focused treatment plan, but can also injure you!! Any time there is cord compression caused by an undiagnosed herniated disc, which Is NOT A RARE OCCURANCE following trauma, you can actually HURT the patient by performing certain excercises and treatment!!!
That is why the proper care of these patients must include a full diagnosis by a trauma-trained physician first, and specifically that means your provider MUST have trauma training to diagnose and treat these conditions!!!
I personally have spent the past THREE YEARS attaining post-doctoral specialized training in the treatment, documentation, and triaging of the injured patient, and having done so, I AM AMAZED at how inadequately and poorly we treat these patients.
Prior to that I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I DID NOT KNOW!!! Because it isn’t taught to most chiropractors and physical therapists!!
This Specialized knowledge has given me the tools to help YOU, even where other providers (including other non-trauma trained chiropractors FAIL!!!)
Contact our office today at 703-396-7770 to schedule a consultation!!!
Steve Lininger, DC, CICE