Category Archives: Car Accident Injury

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When you’ve suffered a car accident and are injured, here’s how NOT to choose a doctor:

Do NOT:

Call the closest chiropractor near your home or work.

Call a physical therapist nearby.

Call the chiropractor with the most Yelp or Google+ reviews.

Call your HMO primary care physician

“Why not?” you may ask.

You are Confusing a Car Accident Injury with Ordinary Neck or Back Pain. They Are Not the Same.

A car accident injury is different than any other injury. It affects various structures in the spine differently than any other type of trauma. The specific injured structure; disc, ligament, nerve, brain, etc. must be documented and properly treated. If not, you will suffer long term consequences. That is a fact.

A general chiropractor, medical doctor or physical therapist has no specialized training in this and will miss many of the injuries and therefore provide substandard care. Almost all of these doctors will eagerly treat an accident case, but they will treat them just as they would any other case of general neck or back pain.

As an example, if certain ligaments are damaged in your neck it will cause your neck curve to flatten. It can also cause your spinal bones to slip too much when moving. What is your general doctor or chiropractor’s plan to restore the lost curve? Have they properly documented the fact that a ligament has been damaged? Do they know how? Do they know how to properly assess impairment based on specific x-ray studies? It is my belief that less than 10% of chiropractors can and do routinely do this. It is probably less than 1% of all general medical doctors and therapists who can do this.

Another example is a brain injury. Does your doctor know how to properly recognize and diagnose a concussion and properly grade it? And if they do recognize it, most won’t, will they offer any treatment for it? Or like 99% of all doctors, will they say, “it just takes time, there are no treatments for a concussion.” By the way, there ARE treatments medically and scientifically proven to help head injuries. One of them was documented as far back as 1961, but is ignored by most doctors and therapists.

Apart From the Obvious Medical Reasons, There are Also Financial and Legal Ramifications to Consider.

General doctors do not do anything without getting paid, usually up front or at least the prospect of health insurance. Today, many people have huge deductibles to their health insurance; $3,000 up to $9,000 are now common. If you need treatment after a car accident and you see a ordinary chiropractor or medical physician you will be responsible for payment as you go. That can get pricey. And even if you are only paying a small co-pay, remember you are paying for inadequate care.

Most generalist doctors, medical or chiropractic, do not adhere to the rules of courts of law. The notes they take, exam procedures they perform and reports they write may not be admissible in court if the proper documentation is not done. This can lead to problems if it becomes necessary to provide testimony at trial.  And in fact, most doctors will not appear in court on your behalf because they do not want to be involved in the legal aspect of your case.

What Doctor Should You See After a Car Crash?

A doctor who is a specialist in car accident whiplash injury

A doctor who has many references and reviews specific to car accidents

A doctor who can show you exactly where your damage is and how it can be fixed

A doctor who is a specialist in brain injury from car accidents

A doctor who will assist you in finances so that you do not pay out of pocket

A doctor who has a network of other doctors, imaging centers and lawyers to assist you with your case

All of These Factors are More Important Than Who is Nearby, Who is in Your Network or Merely Has a Lot of Reviews for General Conditions.

Car accident injuries require a specialist who can properly diagnose your specific problem, provide the correct treatment to fix your spine or brain condition, and assist you in securing treatment at no up front cost and the process of filing your claim. Dr Barry Marks Chiropractor is a car accident injury specialist who fulfills all these criteria.

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Can a Simple, Inexpensive Blood Lab Test Really Prove Whiplash?

Lab test for whiplash

The problem with whiplash and other injuries associated with car accidents, is that many times there is very little evidence of an injury except for subjective complaints of pain. The doctor caring for a car accident injury victim needs to be able to scientifically prove injuries exist and then be able to follow up and show the problem has gotten better. X-rays and MRI’s can be normal, but the patient still complains of pain. What to do?

Laboratory Diagnosis of Whiplash

JW Pritchett writing in the American Journal of Orthopedics* presented a study in which a blood test usually used to indicate inflammation, “C-reactive Protein” or “CRP” was elevated in the presence of disc, ligament and tendon tears 48 hours after an injury. Blood samples taken too early were found to miss the elevated CRP as it takes time to rise.

His research indicated that the more damage was done, the higher the CRP levels in the blood, but that also different structures caused differing levels of elevation of CRP.  But as proof of an actual ligament or tendon tear, he found that patients with pain, but no demonstrable tears on MRI the CRP levels stayed below 1.0 mg/dl and those patients with tears remained above 1.1 mg/dl. He further found that patients who undergo joint replacement, disc surgery, suffer fractures or sustained major trauma will have CRP levels increased by several hundred times the normal. (The normal value for 99% of the population is less than 1.0 mg/dl)

A simple blood test, CRP, can detect if discs, ligaments and/or tendons are torn after a trauma such as a car accident. This gives the doctor treating car accident injuries a way to monitor treatment, but also prove the existence of a major injury.

Dr Barry Marks Chiropractor and Car Accident Treatment Specialist
1745 W. Orangewood Ave #114
Orange, CA 92868
+1 (714) 938-0575

 

 

* Pritchett JW. “C-reactive protein levels determine the severity of soft tissue injuries.” The American Journal of Orthopedics 1996; Nov:759-761.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Car Accident Whiplash Injuries Cause Abnormal Curve of the Neck

Suffered a car accident neck injury?

Call Orange County’s Car Accident Chiropractor Dr Barry Marks

Dr Barry Marks, Chiropractor Orange CA is a former Associate Clinical Professor specializing in car accident injury treatment and fast relief of headaches, neck and back pain since 1986

 

Dr Barry Marks Chiropractor
1745 W Orangewood Ave #114
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 938-0575

http://drbarrymarks.com

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Orange County, CA Car Accident Chiropractor Explains Severity Grading of Injuries After a Car Accident

car accident injury

 

Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents cause damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, disc and nerves of the spine. Even accidents involving little vehicle damage have been shown in many international research studies to cause injury. Researchers have found that milliseconds into an impact, the spine is put into an awkward position that puts tremendous abnormal force on the upper and middle neck ligaments and discs. Damage of the ligaments and discs occurs, which in turn causes the neck to become misaligned. In time, nerves will become irritated if they weren’t directly stretched or damaged by the collision.

Grading the Severity of an Injury After a Car Crash

There are a few grading systems that have emerged over the past decade to allow doctors to predict the outcome and/or treatment times of car accident injuries. These guidelines are not set in stone standards as each individual patients and each accident is totally unique. Guidelines however, are important to understand so that all parties involved; patients, doctors, insurance reps and attorneys have a general idea of the magnitude of the injuries and plan accordingly.

The most highly used and universally accepted set of guidelines are the Croft Guidelines developed by Arthur Croft, D.C., M.Sc., M.P.H., F.A.C.O. Dr. Croft’s work in whiplash goes back many years to his groundbreaking book “Whiplash Injuries.” These guides have been adopted by many state and international chiropractic boards as standards of care for whiplash type injuries.

Grade I: Minimal Auto Accident Injuries

Very minor or “minimal” whiplash injuries cause no ligamentous or nerve injury. These are instances where the spinal muscles are injured and the spinal bones may be misaligned but there are no signs of ligament or nerve involvement. You may feel pain, but on examination there is  no reduction in range of motion. The symptoms may be delayed by days or weeks. Many people with this level of injury do not seek treatment. Those that do usually resolve in 1-3 months with no long term impairment.

Grade II: Slight Car Accident Injuries

Most auto accident injuries fall into the realm of slight in severity. A mild or slight  injury involves an impact and symptoms combined with some positive examination findings, but no ligament damage and no nerve involvement. Onset of symptoms may be delayed by days or even weeks. If you suffered this type of whiplash injury, you may not feel pain right away or it may be very mild, but then over time it does not go away or the pain intensifies. Your doctor would find tight and/or tender muscles, loss of range of motion, misalignment of the spinal bones, and/or pain on pushing and pulling type examination tests. Your x-rays will not show ligament damage and your nerves will check out normal. This injury will take on average 2-6 months to heal and stabilize under the right care.

Grade III: Moderate Car Accident Whiplash Injuries

Moderate injuries are very common. This injury looks like the above, but usually there  is more immediate pain as there is more ligament or disc damage so you feel it right away. On examination your doctor will find any combination of tenderness, spasm, loss of motion, misalignment, altered reflexes or muscle strength and/or abnormal x-rays that suggest ligament damage. This is a more serious injury and can take as short as 3 months to as long as a year or more to stabilize. It is a permanent injury, which means you will suffer either symptoms or abnormal physical exam or x-rays indefinitely.

Grade IV: Moderate to Severe Injuries After a Car Accident

In this injury there is damage of ligaments that causes instability. Nerves are affected from stretching and/or compression. Bone fractures and/or disc herniations are present.These injuries will require permanent ongoing treatment to keep them stabilized after about 6-12 months of treatment.

Grade V: Severe Car Accident Injury

These injuries rarely walk into an out patient office, they are usually taken from the scene to the hospital and because of findings on x-ray, MRI or CT scan, they may be admitted and have a neurosurgical consult. After surgical stabilization, these cases will require ongoing rehabilitative and supportive care indefinitely.

Car Accident Injury Grading is Important

When you’ve been injured in an accident, you want to know how bad your injuries are, what type of treatment is necessary and how long it will take. By using guidelines, your car accident doctor will be able to give you good, science based rationale for your particular condition. Without such information, your doctor is merely guessing or playing it by ear. This is one more reason why you should only entrust your car accident injury treatment to a doctor who specializes in car accident treatment.

 

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4 Car Accident Injuries You Should Look Out For

 

4 car accident injuries to look out forThese 4 Common Car Accident Injuries Just  Happen to be the Most Serious

ONE: Concussion – Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Car accidents are a common cause of head injuries. Surprisingly, you do not need to actually hit your head to suffer a brain injury. The sudden jolt of being struck can cause the brain to bump into the inner skull walls causing damage to sensitive nerves and causing a serious of chemical reactions to occur that cause your brain to malfunction. Most concussions are missed by emergency room doctors or general physicians and chiropractors. And when you have a concussion your thinking and senses are not very accurate so you may not be aware that you are injured. Concussions may be very mild and resolve in days or weeks. More moderate injuries may persist for a couple of months. Symptoms lasting 90 days or longer are considered “Post-Concussion Syndrome” or “PCS.” PCS can cause problems with concentration, focus, learning, speaking, calculating, spelling, memory and more cognitive issues. Brain injuries can also alter your personality and make you less outgoing, feel sadness, anxiety, frustration and anger. Concussions can also cause headaches, visual disturbances, dizziness, lack of balance and coordination and problems sleeping at night while feeling drowsy during the day.

Suspect a concussion if:

You’ve had an accident and you are experiencing a headache, sleepiness, dizziness, blurry vision, foggy headed sensation, difficulty thinking or remembering, feeling tongue tied, or feeling agitated, angry or excessively sad.

TWO: Disc Injury

The fibro-cartilage spacers and shock absorbers between your spinal bones or vertebrae are called “intervertebral discs,” “IVD” or just “discs.” The sudden force of a car accident causes your spine to move in abnormal ways. The result is your discs can become torn causing weakness in the wall of the disc allowing the central gel-like nucleus to push through to the outside. This can cause chemicals to leak out and cause chemical nerve irritation. The disc may also herniate and mechanically push on the nerve or spinal cord causing compressive nerve irritation. In both cases you are likely to experience pain in the neck or back with numbness and/or tingling and/or shooting pains down your arms or legs. Your disc may become injured, but not necessarily herniate enough to push on a nerve or leak chemicals. The disc itself has it’s own nerve supply and if they become injured they will cause pain in the neck or back (but not send pain into the arms or legs) Once a disc is injured it is permanently altered and will never function the same again. Arthritis will set in within a short time after a disc is injured making this a serious injury.

Suspect a disc injury if:

You have an accident and you feel numbness, tingling, burning, electric or shooting pains into your arms and hands or legs and feet. Referred arm or leg pain that is aggravated by coughing, sneezing, taking a bowel movement and/or bending forward. Weakness in the upper or lower extremities without any pain at all is a sign of a serious disc problem.

 

THREE: Upper Cervical Ligament Damage

The upper most part of the neck or cervical spine consists of the bottom of the skull that rests on a ring-like bone (the Atlas, first cervical vertebrae or C1). The C1 bone pivots around a post that sticks up from the second neck bone known as the Axis or C2. More than half of your ability to turn your head relies on the upper cervical spine. To keep these 3 structures in the correct place and moving normally, a series of ligaments are strategically placed in and around the bones. When damaged, the stability of the upper neck bones is lost in one or more directions and excessive motion occurs. Like any ligament injury, once it occurs it is permanent and the instability is permanent and leads to arthritis soon after.

Suspect upper cervical ligament damage if:

You’ve had an accident and you feel a “clunking” sensation just under the skull when you move your neck in certain directions and you can repeat it.

FOUR: Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity (AOMSI)

The spinal bones have “longitudinal ligaments” running up the front (anterior) and back (posterior) that prevent the spine from sliding around when you bend forward and backward. The extreme forces of a car accident (even in supposed low speed crashes) can cause the ligaments to stretch and tear. The resultant ligaments are no longer able to check motion in the spine and the bones are allowed to move too much. This instability is permanent and is a serious injury as it leads to arthritis. According to guidelines on permanent impairment, an AOMSI injury is approximately equal in severity to an amputated limb.

Suspect an AOMSI injury if:

You’ve had an accident and you feel a clicking or clunking sensation in the middle to lower area of your neck or lower back when you bend forwards and backwards.

These 4 Common Car Accident Injuries Are Serious Injuries that Require Immediate Attention by a Car Accident Treatment Specialist.

There are various methods to locate these injuries, unfortunately the typical generalist doctor or chiropractor has little knowledge in this area and may be unable to properly diagnose, document and treat these conditions.

If You Suspect You Have One of More of these Injuries, Call Dr. Marks’ Office at (714) 938-0575 for an Immediate Evaluation at No Cost to You. You simply cannot afford to let one of these serious injuries go undetected.