Auto Injury & Whiplash | Peak Health
Injuries from accidents can be serious, even when they don’t seem to be. If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s extremely important to seek medical treatment as soon after the event.
FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRES THAT YOU RECEIVE INITIAL TREATMENT FROM A PHYSICIAN, NURSE PRACTITIONER, OR CLINIC WITHIN 14 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF YOUR ACCIDENT.
Too often, people with accident injuries that don’t require emergency treatment will turn to their primary care physician (PCP). However, most PCPs will not see patients about accident injuries, even if they have a long-term relationship with the doctor.
Most PCPs are not used to treating auto accident injuries. They deal more with illnesses and everyday injuries, but not the types usually sustained from an accident such as whiplash, bulging discs, and soft tissue injuries. Auto accident injuries require proper diagnosis, care, and documentation for insurance or legal purposes. That’s why it’s essential to receive the right treatment from a specialist with experience in treating patients these types of injuries.
Car accident injuries are covered by your insurance policy’s PIP coverage. PIP billing is often complicated, and PCP offices are not always equipped to bill for accident-related injuries. As a result, many doctors offices refuse to see patients who will be covered by PIP.
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When you are in an auto accident, pain from injuries often doesn’t appear until hours, days or even weeks afterward. Many people walk away from auto accidents “without a scratch” only to suffer crippling pain, neck strain or headaches much later. It’s actually quite common for pain and injuries after a car accident to remain undetected for a long period of time.
That’s because when you are in an accident, the body automatically secretes defensive hormones such as adrenaline that are natural pain-killers. In some case, people go into a state of shock after an accident, leaving them immune to pain or other symptoms of injuries. It’s only hours or even days later – after the body’s natural defenses wear off – that they begin to realize that they were hurt in the accident.
Whiplash is commonly found in vehicle accidents because it is defined as a neck injury that comes from a sudden movement forwards and backwards in the head and neck. Since car accidents tend to be cases in which a vehicle is travelling at speed and suddenly decelerating or stopping, this can cause a shock to your head and heck, which is unrestrained unlike the rest of your torso, which is kept secure by your seat belt. Because it’s impractical that everyday drivers put on helmets and neck collars like racing drivers, whiplash can happen more commonly our roads in the event of an accident.
One of the reasons why whiplash can be so difficult to identify early on is the fact that its symptoms can be delayed for 24 hours or even longer after the initial trauma. Even if you aren’t immediately feeling the effects, your neck and head are experiencing damage that can get worse if left unexamined. It can be tempting to think you don’t need a doctor after an accident if you don’t feel anything, but sometimes the worst is yet to come. Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Arm weakness and pain
- Back pain
Whiplash is best treated as early as possible even if you may not be feeling any effects at all. Symptoms can progress into a loss of range of motion, lasting pain, and a decline in one’s posture. However, early treatment can prevent the worst from happening and even fully treat whiplash injuries.
If you have experienced a sudden shock to your neck and head, do not delay in contacting us at Peak Health so that we can help you put an end to pain before it gets worse. Never assume that you are fine when something as delicate as your neck and head are involved.
POST-TRAUMATIC PAIN SYMPTOMS
Some of the most common symptoms you can experience hours after a car accident include:
- Excruciating pain in the back, neck or head.
- Difficulty breathing or inhaling deeply
- Pain while urinating
- Numbness or tingling that doesn’t go away after a few minutes
If you experience these or other painful symptoms, it’s time to seek medical treatment immediately.
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