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Chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon after a car accident?

Best doctor following car accident

The accident attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin are frequently asked the question, “If I was injured in an car 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.

Pros: Chiropractor

  • Effective at treating acute back, neck, and shoulder pain and strains
  • Can provide 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
 Chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon after a car accident?
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Cons: Chiropractor

  • Not MDs.
  • 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
  • Will usually refer you out to physical therapy before any recommendations
  • 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 personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident– the consultation is free. Our personal injury lawyers 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.

 Chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon after a car accident?
Click the image to chat live or call us at 954.462.8035