Dr. Castanet has post-graduate training and certification in whiplash and brain traumatology with the Spine Research Institute of San Diego. He worked for 18 years in an orthopedic, physical medicine and physical therapy clinic participating in the treatment of 36,000 patients, most of whom were involved in automobile collisions. He also spent four years, part-time, in a neurosurgical clinic learning surgical indications and procedures.
Thankfully most auto collisions won’t require surgical treatment. But auto accidents can cause a variety of injuries, some of which may require referral for diagnostic imaging, e.g. x-rays or MRI scans. Or you may need referral for concurrent care to orthopedists or pain physicians.
In addition to the medical considerations, there are important legal considerations when treating an auto accident patient. The doctor must be mindful of the important legal considerations so that your legal rights are protected and best served.
Dr. Castanet has additional training in how insurance companies value patients’ claims, so he is competent to protect your interests in this regard also.
Integrative Care for Auto Accidents?There are numerous risk factors which may result in worse injuries. Some of these are as follows:
gender of occupant
age and pre-existant degenerative changes in the spine and joints
anticipation of collision
position of occupant
position of headrest
size and mass of vehicles involved in collision
and many more
The nature of the injuries is variable, but generally what happens is that various soft tissues actually tear, microscopically. For example, the whiplash trauma, to and fro, can cause tearing of muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, lymphatics, nerves and any other soft tissue. Usually these are not gross/large enough to be appreciable on diagnostic imaging. But studies on cadavers have shown these tears microscopically.
It is important to get an examination as soon as possible after an auto collision, for several reasons. First, you may not be aware of your injuries until a doctor has you do certain provocative movements, or until a doctor moves you passively to see what latent pain may be provoked by certain movements. Oftentimes, patients avoid certain postures and activities after an accident, so they may not be aware of their injuries.
Also, from a medicolegal standpoint, the longer you wait to get treatment or an examination, the more likely the insurance company is to argue that you did not have any injuries.
Some people who have pain after an auto collision, will hope that the pain goes away with time. While this may occur, sometimes it does not. In fact, sometimes the pain persists or even gets worse over time, as you spend more time doing your usual work and home activities and postures. So you should at least seek an evaluation as soon as possible after an auto collision.
If you have an auto collision, this is what Dr. Castanet suggests you do:
- Call our office to schedule an evaluation. At your first appointment Dr. Castanet will take a history and conduct and an examination.
- If necessary, he will order diagnostic imaging, e.g. x-rays or MRI scan(s) or make referral to a specialist for concurrent care.
- Usually some treatment will be provided at your first exam. Dr. Castanet will also discuss the appropriate use of ice or medications during the acute phase of injury. Initial treatments will include passive therapies and progress from there as you improve.
Following any automobile accident, make sure you consult with your Backstrong Non-Surgical Rehab Clinic doctor in Decatur. If you or someone you know has had an auto accident, please call us as soon as possible and we will help you get the care you need.