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Posted on 04-27-2015

Length of Treatment Following a Baltimore Car Accident

As a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends a considerable amount of time treating patients injured in Baltimore car accidents I often get asked by patients how long they should expect to be treating for their injuries. It is a complex question that is often hard, if not impossible, to answer on the first visit. That is, when patients first come into the office for an evaluation it is usually several hours to several days following their injury. Often their conditions will get slightly worse before they get better as their body begins to heal.  Additionally, these patients may be severely medicated if they went to a hospital following their injury, so it is difficult to accurately assess their "true" levels of pain and discomfort. Research suggests that human metrics are way more important in determining injury severity than are vehicle metrics. That is, it stands to reason that all things being equal, a previously healthy 16 year old male may not be injured as much as a 75 year old male with diabetes and heart disease.

I don't like to set hard and fast parameters for my patients in terms of how much care they need. I let their treatment "do the talking." If they are making their appointments, if their subjective pain levels are improving within the first 3-4 weeks of care by at least 50 percent, and if they are able to resume their activities of daily living without much interruption, then chances are they will not require much treatment and will be released to home care shortly. Typically for these patients care lasts anywhere from 4-8 weeks, on a declining frequency basis. They may start at 3 visits per week but by the time they are close to being released, they may only be treated in the office about once per week or once every other week as they continue to resume their activities outside of the office.

If, on the other hand, a patient is not making their treatment visits, is not performing the stretches that we have assigned for them to perform at home, and has other comorbidities that delay wound healing (smoking, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) then it stands to reason that the length of care that the injured patient requires would be longer.

The purpose of this blog post is to alert you to the fact that it is impossible to predict, particularly early on following an injury, the exact amount of time that it takes for a patient to be dismissed from therapy. Keep in mind, even once dismissed from treatment in my office, a patient will continue to go on and heal, as healing is a long process.

There are some chiropractic clinics that treat all patients the same. They treat all motor vehicle collision patients with the same therapy, for the same number of visits, without regard to their age, pre-existing health conditions, or restrictions. These clinics will routinely tell their patients that they need 16 visits. How they can predict such a specific number is beyond me. This type of blanket treatment often leads to misdiagnosis, suboptimal care, and disgruntled clients who are left "holding the bag" by remaining in pain and having had their time wasted.

Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic combines both chiropractic care and rehabilitation activities to help facilitate healing in our injured clients. We also work closely alongside Dr. Kevin Carr M.D. of Carr Medical Specialties to co-treat our patients to make sure that they get the best care medically and physically.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered injuries as a result of a Baltimore car accident, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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