New Jersey Pain Management Doctors: How Can They Help After An Accident?

NJ Pain Management Specialist Near Me

Car accidents happen regardless of whether or not it was your fault. Unfortunately, those accidents often cause injuries to the brain, soft tissue, and bones—resulting in long-lasting pain. According to the most recent statistics from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were a total of 256,482 motor vehicle accidents in 2016 alone. At least 59,096 of those accidents resulted in injuries.

With the number of post-accident injuries that result in chronic pain, a long-term solution is essential to the recovery process. That means seeking out pain management doctors in your area. A pain specialist is far better equipped to treat ongoing pain than your regular family physician.

Keep reading to learn more about what pain management doctors can do for you after a serious accident.

Defining Pain Management

Pain management is a medical discipline that focuses specifically on treating and relieving pain. Pain is quite an intricate issue, and at times, very complex. Pain management doctors are the specialists who have exclusively studied the conditions that cause pain—both chronic and acute—as well as the methods to reduce that pain. However, even today, pain is not a fully understood phenomenon as it encompasses such a wide spectrum of disorders and causes.

Being as complex as it is, pain management involves several different types of tools and resources. For example, there are prescription pain medications, rehabilitation exercises, injection therapy, and so on. It often takes an extended network of specialists to help patients manage their pain, depending on the severity and cause.

What Pain Management Doctors Can Do For You

Pain management doctors, or specialists, are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and prescribe a treatment plan for all different types of pain. An accident doctor is just one kind of pain management specialist that’s specifically trained to deal with the type of injuries that can occur during a car accident.

The most common injuries caused by car accidents include—but are not limited to:

  • Whiplash, which occurs when your head is forced to move abruptly. The forward and backward motion causes your neck to over-extend or hyper-extend
  • Strained ligaments, which are caused by the sudden amount of stress your body goes through during an accident. Your ligaments are the bands of tissue that connect your bones, and they can easily stretch or tear under the stress
  • A herniated disc, which is when a soft disc between the bones of your spinal vertebrae slips out of place
  • Spondylolisthesis, which is when one of the bones in your spinal vertebrae slips out of place

The most common pain experienced post-accident include:

  • Neck pain caused by whiplash
  • Back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Sciatica pain
  • Headaches caused by a concussion

When you’re involved in a car accident, injuries and pain can be sudden and apparent, or they can sometimes creep up on you slowly. It’s actually quite normal for pain to occur hours, days, or even weeks after having been in an accident. Having pain management doctors who understand the different ways in which a body can become injured during an accident can help you identify any obvious—or not so obvious—injuries sooner than later.

The Types of Pain Management Treatment Are Available Post-Accident

Once you see a pain management doctor, they will assess your injuries and evaluate your pain. Depending on the location and severity of your pain or injuries, they’ll present you with the best available treatment options. That may include one or more of the following:

  • Pain relief medication
  • Physical therapy for healthier movement, strength, or flexibility/range of motion
  • Massage therapy to improve blood circulation and to relieve any muscle pain
  • A neck or back brace to help support and heal any soft tissue damage
  • Chiropractic treatment to realign the spine, neck, or back
  • Epidural spinal injections for pain management
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for chronic pain management
  • Specific exercises and lifestyle management suggestions to supplement treatment at home

When to See a Pain Management Doctor

The best time to see a pain management doctor post-accident is as soon as possible. Especially if you’ve sustained an injury of any kind. Even if you haven’t sustained any injuries or feel any pain, it’s still wise to see a pain management doctor anyway. They may notice something that you haven’t yet, and it’s always best to get ahead of the pain.

Of course, if you’re in a car accident and you sustain injuries that require immediate medical attention, the first thing you want to do is go to the emergency room. There a doctor will give you a thorough examination and the appropriate treatment for your injuries. However, the ER was designed for emergencies only. Their medical staff is not set up to provide continuous treatment once the emergency situation has been handled.

More often than not, your primary care physician won’t see you either. This is because primary care physicians’ practices are set up to bill health insurance companies—not car insurance companies. They also like to avoid auto injury cases and claims which can take time away from their practices. That means even if they do agree to see you, you’ll likely have to pay the full price for the visit.

That’s where the pain management doctors come in. Not only are they better equipped to evaluate and treat your injuries and pain, but they’re also set up to deal with your insurance company claims. They also bill the insurance companies directly—and they take care of the entire process for you.

What to Look For in a Pain Management Doctor

Pain management doctors typically have over nine years of medical training. After medical school, they spend four years training hands-on in fields such as anesthesiology, physical medicine, rehabilitation, or neurology. Then, they’re required to complete a full year of training that focuses on pain treatment only to receive their certification from the American Board of Pain Medicine.

The single most important consideration when sifting through pain management doctors is finding someone with the proper training and experience. This is especially true for situations involving chronic pain—you want to be sure that they’ve dealt with and successfully handled your specific situation before.

The other desirable qualities of a pain specialist include:

  • A helpful and knowledgable staff
  • Up-to-date equipment
  • Treatment that aligns with patients’ belief systems and wishes
  • A strong network of outside providers for things like physical therapy, psychological support, surgical evaluation, etc.
  • In-depth knowledge of car accident injuries and pain disorders
  • The appropriate prescribing of medications for pain relief
  • The skillset to evaluate pain caused by injuries and the use of procedural instruments
  • The ability to run multiple diagnostics tests to pinpoint the exact injury or site of pain
  • Availability so that they can be reached if problems or questions arise

Never be afraid to ask questions when getting to know your potential pain specialist. This is someone you should be able to trust and feel comfortable around. Take the time to get to know their background and procedures, and practice, that way you choose the right pain doctor for you.

Why NJ PIP Insurance Matters

In the state of New Jersey, every auto insurance policy is required to include personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. PIP, sometimes is known as no-fault insurance coverage, covers anyone injured in an accident up to the auto insurance policy’s limit. That means it doesn’t matter whether you’re the driver, passenger, or pedestrian—your PIP will cover your personal medical bills related to the crash and provide reimbursement for any other expenses associated with your injury.

Depending on the level of coverage you’ve purchased, your PIP will cover the following:

  • reimbursement for all medical expenses including non-necessary medical expenses prescribed by a specialist treating brain damage, spinal cord injuries, or disfigurement
  • Lost wages, which varies by policy but will not exceed your normal income
  • A daily stipend for essential tasks such as laundry, yard work, and housekeeping if you’re unable to perform said tasks
  • Death benefits which go to the surviving spouse or children if the individual was the income provider

PIP insurance is incredibly important because it will cover all of your pain doctor visits, specialist appointments, diagnostic tests, medications, therapies, rehabilitation, and other necessary treatments to help manage your pain. Legally, the minimum amount of coverage you need in New Jersey is roughly $15,000. You can purchase more coverage up to $250,000 if desired. In the event that you suffer a severe spinal cord or brain injury, your limits may automatically go up to $250,000 until your condition stabilizes.

Are You in Pain? Call Now

Remember, pain management doctors are an absolute necessity after getting into a car accident. You may not feel injured, but there’s still a good chance that you’ll experience pain within hours, days, or weeks after an accident. Delayed pain is just as common as immediate pain, and a pain specialist is the only person who can help you determine its severity.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident and are in need of a pain management doctor. call 1-800-897-8440. We can help connect you with one of the best pain specialists in the garden state.

 

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