Whiplash Massage: How To Find The Right Whiplash Massage Therapist
Whiplash Massage: How To Find The Right Masseur To Treat Your Whiplash Injury
Whiplash is also known as cervical acceleration/deceleration injury and hyperextension/hyperflexion injury. We will assume for this article that you already know the symptoms of whiplash and that you have an idea of the most common causes of whiplash. Massage has a proven track record in helping people heal from whiplash injuries, and ongoing research in this field is promising.
The 4 main obstacles to overcome in the use Massage treatment for whiplash are:
- Many doctors still have limited knowledge about the usefulness of massage and bodywork. Massage and bodywork for medical conditions and injuries are still in the process of gaining acceptance by the broader medical community. The good news is that more and more doctors are opening up and recognizing the benefits of using massage and bodywork to treat injuries.
- Training for massage therapists and bodyworkers is not standardized and there can be a wide disparity in knowledge and training between graduates of different programs. Some states do not yet have licensing requirements. Fortunately, there is a growing movement advocating for advanced training of massage therapists and body workers who specialize in treating injuries and managing pain associated with chronic illness.
- You may live in a state where massage is not a licensed health care profession and auto insurance companies may refuse to pay for massage for whiplash treatment.
- The public knowledge base. Most laymen and whiplash sufferers may not be aware that there is a difference between spa massage and bodywork and massage techniques that can be used effectively to speed up healing from whiplash. I am not belittling the spa industry. Relaxation massage has its own therapeutic value, although it is not suitable for the treatment of site-specific lesions. What is the difference between spa massage and medical or therapeutic massage? Spa massage tends to be a more general effort to calm the nervous system and reduce overall tension in the structure. Medical massage, or therapeutic massage, is more focused and strives to address trauma and relieve pain in the short term. The long-term goals are to effect mechanical changes, make histological improvements (make changes in the characteristics of the tissues involved), and restore function and balance of structure.
Tried and True Methods for Finding the Right Therapist or Organization
There are a few tried and true ways to find a massage therapist to treat whiplash. If you are lucky enough to have a doctor who is already familiar with manual therapies, he or she may have a clinic or a list of reputable medical massage establishments that can provide effective massage treatment for whiplash. If not, there are other avenues such as friends, coworkers, and online rating sites. The problem here is that, unknown to each of these sources, whiplash treatment requires higher levels of training and skill. Finding someone who does an effective whiplash massage treatment is different from finding a masseur who does an excellent body massage. The problem with relying on word of mouth referrals from people who may not have received massage for whiplash treatment is that they may not know the difference between using relaxation techniques and using more advanced theories and techniques. They are used to treat major soft tissue injuries. It is often necessary to take things into your own hands and do your own research.
Finding a whiplash massage on your own
Things to look for:
- A clinical setting with a therapist or therapists who have a higher level of training. It is possible to find a clinic that has many excellent therapists. Great professionals look for associates of the same caliber to stay current and challenged, so they can continue to develop their skills. Collaboration between colleagues can offer advantages for both patients and massage therapists. These are just points to consider. It is also possible to find an exceptional practitioner operating a solo practice.
- An experienced therapist or therapists who have worked with many whiplash cases. Less experienced massage therapists can also do excellent advanced work, when given the proper guidance. Find a therapist or organization where whiplash is one of the main conditions they treat.
- Therapists who are in the practice of keeping professional chart notes (also called SOAP notes) and who are able to write accurate reports containing important information for physicians, claims adjusters, and attorneys. You will want excellent documentation of your injuries and treatment to establish the medical necessity of the treatment. Additionally, complete and accurate documentation of your treatment is essential if your case needs to be argued in court.
- To lease. Is it in a reasonable location for you? Are you willing to drive longer distances to see more experienced specialists? Depending on the details of your case, the treatment period can be weeks or months. This makes the distance and convenience of getting to your therapist’s location an obvious consideration.
Questions to ask a potential therapist or organization:
- Do you specialize in whiplash? Are they comfortable working on the anterior triangle of the neck? Many therapists are not comfortable working on the entire neck because they have not been trained to work on the front of the neck, known as the anterior triangle. Treatment of this area of the body is not taught in many basic licensing courses and therapists without this training will not want to work on this area, nor should they. It is important to note that although most whiplash pain is felt in the back of the neck and upper back, it is usually perpetuated by post-traumatic muscle protection in the anterior (front) part of the neck. . Relieving whiplash pain is only the initial concern. Restoring proper anterior/posterior postural balance and function (keeping the head well balanced on the neck and shoulders) is imperative for long-term health and to avoid serious residual problems in the future. Proper treatment of the anterior triangle is an important part of restoring that balance.
- How much experience do they have as an individual or as a group? How much knowledge is under one roof? This is an important consideration, because inexperienced therapists who are not being supervised or counseled, may miss the common problems of a whiplash injury. There are problems that the patient may not be aware of. For example: a patient was rear-ended while sitting at a traffic light. It is common for a person holding the wheel in this situation to suffer shoulder joint injuries that are masked by the overwhelming neck pain. An inexperienced therapist may forget to do a simple palpation of the shoulder, which would be surprisingly sensitive to the patient, and confirm the lesion. A stray condition that will become more apparent as the swelling in the neck subsides. This shoulder injury could be unnecessarily disputed by the paying insurance company. The insurance company would argue that the shoulder injury was not due to the accident, since it was not contracted on the initial visit. I understand that this is unfair, but this is how insurance companies tend to behave. The point here is that massage therapists who have experience treating whiplash know what to look for and how to treat it.
- How long have they been in business? Again, this speaks to the level of experience. Experienced therapists, or clinics with multiple therapists and a large pool of knowledge, understand the complexities of treating serious injuries like whiplash. Just as important is understanding proper documentation and dealing with insurance companies, which brings us to number 4…
- Do they do the insurance billing for you? Or will they ask you to pay at the time of service and let you bill your own insurance company? Billing is a valuable service provided by well-established practices. It can take a lot of paperwork and hassle out of you while you recover.
As mentioned before, not all states regulate the practice of massage. Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wyoming are the states where massage is not currently regulated. check the American Association for Massage Therapy website for the latest update.
While this article does not claim to answer all of your questions about finding the right massage therapist or organization, I hope it will help you find the person or people who can provide the most effective massage for your whiplash treatment. and help him fully heal from his wounds.