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Typical Medical Exams Following an Accident

exam-after-accidentBack and neck injuries and related medical conditions can be quite serious and take months or years to recover from. Surgery and extensive physical therapy and other treatment modalities may be necessary. This can result in substantial medical expense, work loss, severe pain and mental suffering, loss of usual activities, stress and a serious impact on daily living. If you have been involved in an accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. The information contained in the below articles is meant to provide a very broad overview of the importance of obtaining excellent medical attention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as to provide you with a snapshot of the just some of the types of medical problems that can develop as a result of an accident or collision. After seeking medical attention, be sure to contact our office for a free consultation to learn all that is necessary in order to fully protect your legal rights and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve following a serious accident or collision.

It is important for accident victims to receive a thorough medical examination following an accident. Whether the examination is in the emergency room, immediate health care facility or the victim’s family physician’s office, the purpose of the exam is to obtain a diagnosis of the patient’s condition in order to get started with an effective course of treatment. The initial exam often consists of the physician taking a history from the patient, which includes the victim’s re-telling of the events leading up to the injury, as well as a thorough physical examination of the patient. The examining doctor can then usually reach an impression or working diagnosis, and can then recommend an effective treatment plan. This can include providing instructions to the patient, prescribing medication, or ordering further x-rays and other diagnostic exams.

Tests are usually performed to identify subjective and objective symptoms. Objective symptoms include symptoms that a patient can’t consciously control. Subjective symptoms are those symptoms that a patient can exert control over. Tests that the examining physician performs to identify objective symptoms for patients suffering neck or back injuries may include checking the patient’s lordotic curve (the curvature of the patient’s spine), palpating the affected area for signs of muscle spasm, measuring bodily areas for signs of muscle atrophy, and testing inner structures (joints, ligaments, fascia and nerve roots) through a series of passive and resistance movements. The patient’ motor, sensory and reflex powers are also tested, as well as the patient’s mental status. The physician may use some of the following tests to identify objective and subjective symptoms when examining the patient:

The Valsalva Test is used to locate presence of a herniated disc or pressure in the spinal column. The Spurling Test is used to diagnose presence of radiating pain (such as from neck to shoulder and arm). The Babinski Test is used to detect presence of brain or spinal cord irregularities or disease. The Distraction Test is used to diagnose scope and degree of nerve damage or osteoarthritis. The Oppenheim’s Test is also used to diagnose presence of brain or spinal cord disease. The Slump Test is used to locate presence of tension on a nerve. The Straight Leg Raise Test is used to diagnose inflammation of low back radiating pain to lower leg. The Beevor’s Test is used to diagnose injury to Thoracic vertebrae. The Patrick’s Test is used to diagnose injury to hip joint. The Compression Test is u sed to diagnose nerve root disease or pathology.

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