After you’ve been in a car accident, one of the most crucial decisions you will make involves choosing a doctor to treat your injuries.
Even if you walk away from the accident feeling little or no pain, it’s essential to get an exam to check for underlying issues, such as head, tissue, or spinal injuries.
Here are 4 suggestions to help you choose the right physician after a car crash:
1) DON’T RELY SOLELY ON YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
Your main doctor — the one you see for annual physicals — will play a role in your care but may not have the training to treat injuries sustained in an accident, like concussions, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries. Seek out an experienced pain specialist — a doctor with special training to treat injuries and pain. Pain management doctors can diagnose any injuries and prepare a customized recovery plan to treat you. At practices like Tri County Pain Management Centers, we have a team of pain doctors, including a neurologist specializing in treating head injuries and concussions. You get state-of-the-art care and a recovery plan built for you.
2) TELL YOUR DOCTOR EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT
Your injury physician can help you more if you tell them everything about your accident and injuries. Please give them the details of the accident, how it happened, where it happened, others who were injured, what happened after the accident, and any other medical care you received. Also, share any symptoms you experienced, any trouble sleeping or moving, and your medical history, including other conditions or previous injuries you may have sustained. The more information you can provide, the better the doctor can help.
3) DON’T DELAY IN SEEING A PAIN DOCTOR
Get medical care right after your accident, even if things “feel OK.” Go to an emergency room, if necessary, then see a pain physician soon after the accident for a complete exam and diagnosis. Some symptoms may feel minor at first, such as muscle aches, backaches, neck pain, or headaches, but those can turn into more severe conditions if not treated.
Or you may have internal injuries, which your doctor can diagnose with an X-ray. Don’t delay — seeing a pain doctor right after your crash can help you recover faster and avoid more severe problems.
4) BE AN ACTIVE PARTNER IN YOUR CARE
As you recover from your injury, you will need to be an active partner in your recovery plan, ensuring that you follow the doctor’s suggestions and attend your follow-up treatments and visits. This will help the physician track your recovery and make adjustments as needed. Ask your doctor to detail your treatment plan for you and explain any long-term effects you may experience from the accident. And, if you are involved in any legal matters as a result of your injuries, ask the doctor how they will document your treatment and care. Don’t hesitate to ask questions — your pain physician can help you understand the severity of injuries and assist in your treatment and recovery.
Being in an auto accident can be unsettling and cause many changes to your “normal” routine. Having a doctor who has experience in treating accident injuries is essential.
At Tri County Pain Management Centers, we treat auto and work injuries and other chronic and acute pain. Our staff of skilled pain specialists serves Eastern Pennsylvania, Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and Delaware, at many convenient Tri County Pain Management locations. For info, call 215-486-1800 or visit www.tricountypmc.com