Selecting the right chiropractor after a car accident or work injury

Selecting the right chiropractor after a car accident or work injury

Selecting the right chiropractor Louisville KY

Chiropractic care provides safe, effective treatment for whiplash, neck pain, headaches, dizziness, TMJ, hand or leg tingling, and low back pain after an accident.  Selecting the right chiropractor can make a huge difference in your case and in your recovery.

Whether it was tap on your bumper or a head on collision, a car accident can derail your life.  You have to get your car checked, get a rental car, contact your insurance company, this list goes on and on.  Most importantly, you have to get out of pain and get back to life.   Many people call an attorney to help them navigate the unfamiliar and scary process of dealing with the insurance companies and finding health care providers.  Some start by getting checked at the emergency room and getting advice from the doctor who is on staff that day.

The big questions are:

  • Where do I start?
  • Am I going to be OK?
  • Will I have to miss work?
  • How long will I have to be off work?
  • How do I get better as fast as possible with minimal disruption to my life?

If you have been injured in a car accident in Kentucky or Indiana, one of the first steps is to get effective medical care. The second is to handle the financial aspects of your care.

The financial impact of the accident includes how much money you may lose by not being at work.  If you have car insurance in Kentucky, you are required to have $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection for the driver and passengers in the car.   With this coverage, your insurance will reimburse you up to $250.00 per week if you are off work.  In 2015, that is not enough to cover the bills.

Where do I start?

A research study published in 2008 looked at which providers got people back to work the quickest.  It compared which type of provider the patient saw first with the percentage of people who were still disabled after one year.  They found that only 5% of those who sought chiropractic care first were still disabled after one year.   This is compared to 12% for those who went to primary care first and 21% who went to occupational medicine first.  (1)

Another study looked at the frequency of low back surgery based on which type of provider they saw first.  The study compared those who saw a surgeon first versus those who saw a chiropractor first.  The results: 42.7% of those who saw a surgeon first had surgery while only 1.5% of those who was a chiropractor first had surgery. (2)

The goal is to get better and out of pain as quickly as possible. How quickly you seek care is also important.   It only takes 8 days for scar tissue to become established and slow your recovery.  A recent study from Optum Health guidelines concluded, “ Not only should chiropractic be encouraged initially, but the first ten days are critical if you want to lower costs even more!”  Lower cost for them means quicker recovery for you.

How to choose a chiropractor after your car accident.

The short answer is research.  Having taught both attorneys and doctors on helping people after an accident, I have heard of the challenges they face.  Many of these challenges can be avoided through research.

Start your research online.  Online reviews and ratings are good indicators of the doctor’s ability and patient satisfaction.   Look at the doctor’s website, does it list his credentials?

Once you decide to meet a chiropractor, don’t be afraid to ask some questions.  Here are my top 10.

  1. Do you have post-graduate training in working with people after car accidents?
  1. Do you order special tests like MRI’s or CT’s if they are needed?
  1. Do you receive referrals from other providers like medical doctors or surgeons?
  1. Do you make referrals to specialists when needed?
  1. Do you accept health insurance if my car insurance doesn’t cover everything?
  1. Can I see my records?  (Hand written or sloppy records are not helpful to the insurance company or any attorney.)
  1. Are you willing to do depositions for your patients?  (A doctor may need to explain your injuries to  an attorney, make sure he is willing and experienced at this.)
  1. Do you go to court if needed?  (A doctor may need to explain your injuries in court, make sure he is willing and experienced at doing so.)
  1. How frequently do you re-examine your patients?  (The standard is every 12 visits or 30 days.)
  1. Do I need to fill our surveys? (Patient surveys like the Revised Oswestry and Neck Disability Index are standard ways to measure patient progress.)

I recently had a conversation with a patient who had seen another chiropractor prior to coming to our office.  Unfortunately, the first chiropractor did not document the patient’s condition with a thorough examination and had illegible notes. The insurance company refused to pay for those visits.  The insurance company requested all of our documentation to determine the extent of the patient injuries and his progress.  I asked the patient how he had selected the first chiropractor. He said he just looked for a chiropractor in Louisville near his home and work.

Selecting the right chiropractor for your case will make your life a lot easier.

Dr. Patrick Lowe is a chiropractor in Louisville, Kentucky.  Dr. Lowe is a Certified Insurance Consultant and earned his Diplomate from the American Academy of Medical Legal Professionals.   He lectures to doctors and attorneys on the injuries sustained in car accidents.  Dr. Lowe leads his Louisville chiropractic team helps people recover from their car accidents as quickly and efficiently as possible.

1)  Turner JA, Franklin G. et al  Early predictors of chronic work disability, a prospective population-based study of workers with back injuries. Spine, 2008:33(25):2809-18

2) Early Predictors of Lumbar Spine Surgery after Occupational Back Injury: Results from a Prospective Study of Workers in Washington State. Keeney et al. Spine 2012 Dec 12.

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8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Lowe Chiropractic & Wellness
10306 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40223
(502) 245-7334