Maximizing Your Medical Healing (Part 2)

This month’s blog is the completion of last month’s one. If you have not already read it, please do so first here.

Always call 911 to document the accident, even if you do not think you are injured. Due to the release of adrenaline into your bloodstream immediately after a crisis you will generally significantly underestimate your injuries for the first day or two (as adrenaline masks pain). Always presume that you are more injured than you feel in the first week. Calling 911 and documenting the accident makes sure that you can receive adequate medical care and will protect you legally in the future, if needed. The next decision is whether you should be seen in an emergency room or not (whether driven by private vehicle or ambulance). I have written an entire separate blog on this issue and I recommend that you read that now.

The next step is to call one of our offices as soon as possible. The sooner that your medical care begins, the better your long-term outcome. At your initial office visit you will spend between 60 and 90 minutes face-to-face with our medical staff. A very detailed medical history, accident history, and list of all of your symptoms will be discussed. A very detailed medical examination will be performed. These are all extremely important to be able to evaluate your injuries and together create a treatment plan that not only are we medically comfortable with, but that fits into your busy life. If you have any special situations, such as transportation or childcare challenges, please mention them to us as we plan your care together. We know this visit can be overwhelming but please be patient, as without it you will end up receiving less than ideal care.

Manual therapy with our highly qualified physical therapy and other staff members usually lasts twice a week for four to eight weeks if surgery is not required. Fortunately, this is approximately 95% of the time. We fully understand that this is inconvenient, but it is better to be treated correctly for a short period of time than to suffer forever. If you unfortunately need to undergo surgery, this will extend the length of your care significantly.

In addition we highly recommend that you follow all of the following directions, which will speed up your recovery: Ice all the injured areas several times a day for ten minutes at a time. Do not use heat, as this increases inflammation. Over-the-counter antiinflammatory medications, such as Advil or Aleve, will be recommended unless you have contraindications such as a history of heartburn, indigestion, or reflux, or are on blood thinners such as Plavix or Coumadin. Painkillers and muscle relaxants will sometimes be used, but these provide comfort only and do not speed up the recovery. You will be shown how to perform activities of daily living safely, as well as a home exercise stretching and strengthening program. You also might be given certain work restrictions depending upon the severity of your injuries and how active your work is.

Keeping your scheduled appointments is extremely important. It is impossible for us to help you if you are not in the clinic in the early phase of your management. Not keeping your appointments also prevents other patients from having the opportunity to be treated during that time slot. Please communicate clearly any form of therapy or home program that either is not helping or aggravating your condition so we can adjust our treatment protocol accordingly.

Lastly, you have our entire team’s commitment that we will diligently provide you with the very best medical care that is available, as well as discharge you as soon as your medical condition allows you to complete the rest of your management safely at home.

A Better Way to Get Better,
Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis, MD