Lyons Snyder & Collin. Trial Attorneys.


Injured in an accident – chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon?

By Philip M. Snyder

The Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin are frequently asked the question, “If I was injured in an accident and I have pain in back/neck/shoulder, should I make an appointment with a chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon?”Although this answer varies from case-to-case, it is important to understand the pros/cons of both options. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin are experienced in all injury matters and should be contacted immediately after an accident.  As experienced Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys our lawyers often recommend, if requested, the most appropriate doctor to provide short-term and long-term treatment in addition to maximizing any personal injury claim for damages.

Pros:  Chiropractor

  • Effective at treating acute back, neck, and shoulder pain and strains
  • (Can exhibit) immediate relief of pain
  • Immediate availability
  • Minimally invasive treatment
  • Alleviate pain through non-surgical means such as manipulation of  the spine, adjustments, massage, electro-stimulation and physical therapy
  • Cost effective compared to orthopedic surgeons

Cons: Chiropractor

  • Some Chiropractors “take advantage” of clients by over billing and over treating when not medically necessary
  • Can poorly manage / misdiagnose chronic pain (more than three months), as compared with acute pain
  • Chiropractic treatment could aggravate certain injuries
  • Considered less credible by insurance companies regarding diagnoses and other important considerations that are crucial to achieving a favorable settlement or jury award.

Pros: Orthopedic Surgeon

  • More equipped to handle “serious or potentially serious” medical issues such as: nerve or spinal cord damage; any problem controlling bowel/bladder functions; numbness/tingling in the legs; back pain with associated leg pain, weakness of leg muscles, fractures or other issues not considered “soft tissue” injuries.  
  • Typically higher education
  • Can prescribe pain medication, if warranted.
  • Considered more credible by insurance companies and/or juries
  • Can provide surgical relief of injuries if other conservative care options are not appropriate.

Cons: Orthopedic Surgeon

  • Expensive (depending on available insurance or “letter of      protection”)
  • Do not provide hands on physical therapy or massage therapy
  • Limited treatment options except surgery
  • Poor bedside manner
  • Limited availability

Whether you were injured in an automobile accident or slip and fall, you should always speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident– the consultation is free.  The Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Lyons, Snyder & Collin are here to help you obtain the best possible treatment (regardless of whether you see a chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon), discuss payment options if you do not have insurance (i.e. letter of protection), and formulate a game plan to obtain the highest possible settlement for your injuries.