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Doctors Changing Views On Treatment of Brain Injuries

Dan Brian   |  July 6, 2015   |  

It was not long ago that doctors would evaluate patients who had been involved in auto accidents and tell them to rest and ice their necks and backs, and return in a week or two if they experienced no improvement.  Only then would doctors prescribe physical therapy or chiropractic care.

Now, most doctors think this advice is severely dated.  Most doctors now believe it is wise for patients to begin therapy almost immediately after an accident.  Similarly, many chiropractors and physical therapists commonly recommend immediately beginning treatment.  These treatments are initially passive, meaning they involve stretching or range of motion exercises, rather than chiropractic manipulations or therapy involving weights.  But the standard practice is now for patients to get up and move about as soon as possible.  To delay encouraged the body to build up scar tissue, and impedes healthy recovery.

Now, doctors starting to see brain injuries in a similar light.  Brain injuries can involve massive head trauma, but more commonly they involve more modest closed head injuries where a patient may have suffered a mild concussion and probably never lost consciousness.  A concussion is essentially a bruise of the brain, and now doctors are starting to treat these closed head injuries more like bruises to the body, or whiplash o the neck.  As explained by this NPR article, doctors are finding encouraging results by having patients use their minds shortly after an injury.  Many patients who try to close themselves off from stimuli suffered worse results in a study looking at the issue.

Our attorneys at Riddle and Brantley keep updated not only on changed to the law, but changes in medicine and science.  If you or a loved one have suffered a serious personal injury in an auto accident or other situation, our lawyers are ready to help.