Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents
Whiplash can be the result of any type of injury that involves the neck being jerked forcefully back and forth, but it is one of the most common injuries related to auto accidents. Whiplash is often labelled as neck strain, but this term is a bit misleading, since it can also encompass other types and causes of injury.
Every year in Canada, whiplash injuries account for more than two million insurance claims, costing an average of 600 million dollars.
What is Whiplash?
As indicated above, whiplash involves the neck being whipped forcefully back and forth, usually because of a bodily impact that involves an abrupt stop. This causes the head and torso to move back then quickly jerk forward. These motions cause the muscles and ligaments to stretch beyond their regular range of motion and damage tissues, which causes pain and disfunction. Although this kind of injury can occur from sports and other body trauma, but it occurs most often as a result of a vehicle accident—typically, a rear-end collision.
There are grades of severity in whiplash injuries, ranging from 0 to 9, with 0 being symptom-free and 9 having severe symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include headaches, neck stiffness and pain. For the most part, people with moderate to severe whiplash injuries can be healed within a matter of weeks, provided they follow a treatment plan from their doctor or other medical professional that includes pain medication and exercises to ease the symptoms and correct the injury.
Fixing the Injury
There is growing research demonstrating better short and long-term outcomes from whiplash injuries when the patient follows a multidisciplinary approach. Many people with mild whiplash will be given over-the-counter pain medication and told to use alternating hot and cold compresses. Those with more severe whiplash need a systematic treatment plan outlined by a medical professional, such as the clinicians at Brickyard Physiotherapy.
ICBC recognizes the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach in their new coverage starting April 1st 2019. For the first 12 weeks after your crash, you can get treatment from the various types of health care professionals listed below. ICBC will provide treatment coverage for the number of sessions indicated next to each type of professional. All of these services are available at Brickyard Physiotherapy and can even be accessed simultaneously for maximum benefit:
- Physiotherapists are university-trained medical professionals that are qualified to assess and treat the effects of whiplash affects on a body’s mobility and function. Medical doctors refer more to physiotherapists than any other health profession.
Chiropractic -> Coverable for 25 Sessions
- Chiropractic is an evidence-informed, non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. It is geared toward working on restoring normal movement and alleviating pain.
Registered Massage Therapy -> Coverable for 12 Sessions
- Massage Therapy is bodywork that aids in easing a patient’s pain and helping them recover. It also has the side benefit of being both physically and mentally relaxing. The RMTs at Brickyard Physiotherapy incorporate different forms of massage therapy in order to ensure that their patients are comfortable and that their pain or discomfort is kept to a minimum.
Registered Acupuncturist -> Coverable for 12 Sessions
- Traditional Acupuncture focuses on treating the pain, stress, anxiety and depression that can follow whiplash injuries, by stimulating the body’s pressure points.
While making an injury claim on your car insurance is not always the easiest thing to do, taking a multi-disciplinary approach to your moderate to severe whiplash doesn’t have to be difficult. By allowing the professionals at Brickyard Physiotherapy to assess and treat your whiplash, you can be on the path to recovery in no time.