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If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you have likely experienced firsthand the aches and pains that come with it. Minor accidents often cause underlying injuries that you may not notice for weeks or months. The impact in a car accident commonly contributes to misalignment issues that can lead to varying degrees of pain. Chiropractic care is a newer practice that is being widely utilized in post-accident rehabilitation. In the event you get in an accident, you can better understand chiropractic care and how it can help you recover from your injuries.

What is chiropractic medicine?

This branch of the healthcare profession is founded on the idea of the body healing itself. Primarily, chiropractors are treating physical injuries specific to joints by manipulating the joints themselves. The intention behind this method is to help the body develop a better range of motion and functionality that will help in the healing process. The spine is the most common area treated by a chiropractor, though depending on their practice and specialty they may be able to assist with other areas of the body and potentially with issues with muscles and tendons as well.

Are chiropractors legitimate?

Let’s cut to the chase on the most common question regarding chiropractic care: legitimacy. Many people over the years have been skeptical of the science behind chiropractic medicine, with some going as far as to say it is a flat-out fallacy and that the doctors are quacks. The history of chiropractic medicine indicates it as an alternative practice to traditional medicine. It is actually one of the first methods to focus on the whole body rather than just the pain points. In modern days, we would consider this to be a more holistic approach to health and treatment.

The main idea to understand with chiropractic medicine is that it is one of many avenues to treat your body and therefore is not intended to stand alone as a miracle treatment. Chiropractic care is usually encouraged in conjunction with traditional medical strategies, such as surgery, prescription medication, or physical therapy. You can think of it as another means toward the same goal: getting better. The best way to do that is to be open-minded of the various ways your body will respond to treatment and approach the issue holistically to support healthy recovery. Instead of just doping up on pain killers for the rest of your life, you can utilize methods like chiropractic care to get to the root of the issue and experience relief throughout your body so you can eventually return to a pain-free life.

A final note to consider is the requirements and educational background of chiropractors themselves. They are doctors of their science, and with any doctoral study comes years of academic and professional experience to ensure professionals are equipped to successfully help their patients. To practice, chiropractors must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, pass the National Board Chiropractic Examiners exam, and obtain a state license. Some may even pursue specializations that require additional training and certification to include in their practice. To sum it all up, chiropractic medicine is backed by accrediting bodies and state regulators to ensure quality medical practices are developed and proper care is provided. It is one of many modalities for treatment of musculoskeletal problems and can be utilized as one of the ways you can recover from your injury.

What can I expect from a chiropractic appointment?

We have all seen the common stereotype of chiropractors just twisting your body around to crack your bones. While the cracking is certainly a byproduct of an adjustment appointment, it is not necessarily the goal of the chiropractor. In manipulating the spine or other parts of the body, a chiropractor is trying to undo some bad habits or sudden developments due to injury. The spine is made up of many pieces, so when it takes an impact, things can easily go out of alignment. Even slight changes can create pain or discomfort in the body, which is where a chiropractor can come in to help bring your spine back into its ideal, neutral state.

Typically in an appointment, the chiropractor will first start by taking x-rays of your spine to determine where the misalignment is and where the pain may be originating. Again, chiropractic care is a whole body approach, so these professionals are not concerned specifically with the area that is in pain. They want to determine the root of the issue, such as the pain in your shoulder potentially resulting from a pinched nerve somewhere in your spine. The next stage will include an analysis of your imaging and discussion of a treatment plan. From there you can begin scheduling your treatment sessions, called adjustments, where the chiropractor will begin performing manipulations on your joints and spine to help your body heal.

Is chiropractic care covered by insurance?

This is a 2-part question depending on which way you look at it. Chiropractic care is viewed as an acceptable means of treatment in the eyes of insurance companies, and is covered by your auto insurance if you carry the right coverage options. Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage are highly recommended for any auto policy in the event you are hurt by another driver and they do not have the insurance coverage to pay for your care.

Your health insurance plan may also cover chiropractic care, so this could be a consideration depending on your coverage. Be aware that care billed through your health insurance will be subject to your health insurance deductible, which in most cases is significantly higher than auto insurance deductibles. It is a good idea to review your policies and coverage with your agent to better understand how they can be used in the event of an accident, especially for medical care. The Nicholson team is able to help with both auto insurance and health insurance and is happy to review your coverage with you to make sure you are properly protected.

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