Injured in a car or truck accident? What is the most effective medical treatment?

I was talking to my physical therapist today as he treated me for a shoulder injury ( infraspinatus muscle) and we got talkng about other alternatives to physical therapy such as chiropratic or accupuncture. He told me that he thought in some instances those and other medical modalities worked equally effectively and the conversation turned to today's topic, what would he recommend?

He answered that a very important consideration was the belief of the patient. If the patient believes the particular treatment regimen will get them well there is a much higher incidence of it actually doing so.

Victims of car and truck accidents often ask us what treatment we would recommend. Our answer is invariably, whatever works best for you.

It may seem like we are ducking the question but the fact is different modalities work for different people and prior experience is often instructive as to what will work going forward. For clients who have previously had successful recovery from an injury, repeating that form of treatment often works quite well as the individual comes into the treatment believing in its effectiveness.

Which is to say that patients who found chiropractic care, physical therapy or accupuncture useful for prior injuries often seem to do better by embracing that realm of treatment for subsequent injuries, where appropriate.

Obviously some injuries are different from others and someone who has benefitted from say, physical therapy for low back injury in the past, may not find it helpful for a concussion. Clearly injury diagnoses and doctor's opinions are highly germane to what treatment should be undertaken as some modalities can worsen an injury rather than improve it.

Once the doctors have weighed in on what care would be useful or harmful, there are choices to be made and if you believe in the benefit of  a particular one, go for it. Sometimes our clients have no prior treatment experience and we suggest talking to family members and friends about what may have worked for them.

The other important consideration is following through on the treatment plan. If your therapist or chiropractor thinks you will need six weeks of treatment three times a week, see the treatment through. Sometimes our clients indicate that they aren't getting better and certainly such a concern should be addressed to the healthcare provider, but many injuries take time to heal.

So when you have treatment choices, embrace one you can enthusiastically carry out and the probability is you will get better quicker.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer