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I’m done therapy after my car accident but I still hurt! What do I do?

Posted on: February 12th, 2018 by Cory Choma
Cory Choma

Cory has been in clinical practice since 1996 and is a founding member of CSA. He is one of only 4 Clinical Specialists in Pain Science in Canada and one of a handful of people awarded an ISTOP (Institute for the Study and Treatment of Pain) Honorary Fellowship. Cory has been teaching GunnIMS domestically and internationally since 2003 and is a senior instructor for the Continuing Professional Development branch of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Book with Cory now.


News flash:  

Coverage is available for whiplash therapy after a car accident even if you have been discharged and/or your insurance company has told you coverage has been exhausted.

 


Car accidents are common, prolonged pain should not be!

Programs that cover therapy after a car accident may cover you for up to 2 years.  Extending beyond this critical time requires litigation to recover costs associated with recovery.  The DTPR (diagnostic and treatment protocols regulation) provides insurance coverage for therapy in the first 90 days after a car accident.  We typically call this the ‘protocols’.  If you are still in pain or have other issues after this time Section B benefits are available.  Check out this link for more information. (Who qualifies for Section B?)

Important tidbit:

It is confusing when the insurer sends you notice that the DTPR funding is over while you still have pain.  The protocols are over once you hit 90 days post accident or use all of the pre qualified visits (possibly up to 21 treatment units).  At this point, coverage for additional therapy is available under Section B.  

Q:  So, how do I access Section B benefits?

You may access Section B benefits when the injuries or pain you have is classified as medically neccessary.  Although there are differing opinions of ‘medically necessary’ a good rule of thumb is that your MD provides a prescription for therapy and the current physical therapist has reason be believe that therapy will improve your condition.  See our Neck Pain/Whiplash page.

Q:  Why would I be discharged if I can still get better?

The initial approach to therapy after a vehicle accident assumes an inflammatory problem.  This makes sense and is most often the case for those seeking therapy.  Your therapist needs to switch approaches once the inflammatory phase is over.  Too often, modalities or techniques that are appropriate for inflammatory pain continue to be the mainstay of therapy.  Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, you need a professional trained in assessing more complex or persistent cases to have eyes on you.  This is no different than your MD requesting the services of an orthopaedic specialist for fractures that may require surgery.  When your pain persists for longer than expected time frames a specialist in this area is useful.  Very often you suffer from muscular pain (myofascial) relating to a hyper sensitive nervous system (Neuropathic).  In cases like this Gunn IMS  or a specific pain program may be helpful.

Q:  Who do I call?

In the Physical Therapy profession those with this training may have a Clinical Specialization in areas of practice such as Pain Science or Musculoskeletal.  Within the protocol regulation a therapist with the title Injury Management Consultant is identified for their advanced skills.  These professionals can help.   Your coverage continues under Section B, even after the protocols program has ended.

I hope this information clear up some of the confusion.

Cory


If you feel that your problem would benefit from ongoing therapy, consider asking your Physician for a referral to a well educated professional who specializes in persistent pain.  Within CSA, this would be Cory Choma, Dawn Payne and Jeffrey Begg.  

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