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  • Dennis P. McCracken, MD

It's NOT just your Neck and Back (If you've been injured in a car wreck,...)


After you are injured in an auto accident, you'll often find yourself under the care of a chiropractor first, whether by self-referral, or by referral from your attorney. It's almost an habitual pattern, deftly created by chiropractors over the past several decades. Yet many times, I find that no consideration is given to a full medical assessment by a qualified Medical Doctor (MD). At InjuryMD, we’re trying to change this misguided direction of care. So, while I am not against chiropractic care (I have a great chiro. that I use, myself), there is usually more to your injuries when you're involved in a car wreck than just your neck and back.

You may have been to the emergency room (or urgent care) after your accident, a place that I know well from my nearly three decades of working in one. As an ER doctor, however, my job was to make as thorough an assessment as I could, as quickly as I could. No broken bones? Check. No severe head injury? Check. Neck not broken? Check. No life-threatening injuries? Double check. Then, once I found you safe to go home, I would discharge you to follow up with your regular doctor. Did that mean that you were well? Of course not! It merely meant that your injuries were not severe enough to require hospital admission. So, now what?

Few MDs, like me, have chosen to dedicate their medical practices to the assessment and treatment of Personal Injury patients. At InjuryMD, that's all we do. I start with a full history of your accident – Was your vehicle moving, or stopped, at the time of impact? Where was your vehicle struck? Were you wearing a seatbelt? Did you strike your head, or lose consciousness? Did your vehicle’s air bags deploy? Where are you having pain? The questions go on to dig into the details of impact, how you were positioned in the car, what hit you (or what did you hit), etc. After this, we get into a thorough physical exam, assessing you from head to toe; literally. So, my evaluation doesn’t start and end with your neck and back. I am first looking for any sign of concussion, or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). Then, I will assess your neck (or, cervical spine) and associate response of the related nerves and discs, looking for indications of a disc herniation. I’ll often go on to evaluate your chest, abdomen, shoulders, knees,…. You get the picture. My job, at InjuryMD, is to assess you as a WHOLE PERSON, often finding multiple problems (some you may not even know you have), while also making sense of your mechanism of injury as it relate to just where, and how, you are hurt. I look at related sleep disruption, the emotional impact of your accident, any work time lost, or job limitations caused by your accident-related injuries. And, of course, I’ll always take a good look at your back.

After all of that, I am then able to offer unique treatments for your pain, or even prescription medications, to help get you through. I may order x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to better assess your injuries. Finally, I'll devise a medical treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Of course, if you have a treating chiropractor, I'll do my best to maintain communication with him (or her) so that your treatment is more cohesive. I'll also keep close contact with your Personal Injury attorney, in effort to stay on top of your case, so that you may receive the best, and most thorough, care possible from your first to last visit.


FUN FACT: Did you know that insurance adjusters would tell you that it absolutely helps your case, at the time of settlement, to have had an MD’s assessment and treatment documented throughout your course of care?

To summarize: Why do YOU need a Medical Doctor after being injured in a motor vehicle accident?

- Thorough, HEAD-TO-TOE Assessment

- Communication and collaboration with other providers involved in your care

- Close communication with your attorney

- Unique, effective treatments that only a Medical Doctor can provide

- Prescription medication provided, as needed

- The security of a provider who understands the human body from top to bottom, inside and out

- A bolstering presence to your legal case to help you get the best settlement possible

So, if you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident, get a Personal Injury attorney (We can help with that, too). Go to your chiropractor. Maybe even see a Physical Therapist. But if you want the very best results in your overall recovery, don't leave out a key member of your treatment team – A qualified MD. After all, it's not just about your neck and back!

At InjuryMD, we have “The MD for YOUR Injury.”


Dennis P. McCracken, MD

Medical Director - Injury MD

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