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Chiropractic and Massage after a Car Accident?

Massage goes well to support a Chiropractic Treatment Plan after a Car Accident

Why Massage?

At Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center, we believe massage therapy is a good addition to a chiropractic adjustment. Massage therapy is performed before or during many chiropractic treatments as it works to relax and balance muscles. This therapy can also help your body hold an adjustment better. Insurance coverage for motor vehicle accidents often includes some provisions for bodywork.

We do our best to get people what they want and need. Prior to becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Sibilla became licensed as a massage therapist in both Oregon and Washington prior to becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Massage therapy is a passive modality.  This simply means that the patient is passively receiving, rather than getting actively involved. Research suggests that passive care alone, while helpful in the short term, does not benefit long term recovery. While Chiropractic manipulative therapy can also be interpreted as being passive, it involves the cooperation and involvement of the patient, and is thus not considered the same way as massage, where, for example, a patient might even fall asleep. Consequently, passive modalities like massage are applied early on and then phased out as the treatment plan progresses.

Post Accident Therapy

In Oregon, there are specific insurance rules about how much massage therapy an insurance company will cover in the case of a motor vehicle accident. When guidelines are exceeded, the insurance carrier can challenge the billing, requiring the patient to pay back out of pocket. Here’s a quick primer on how to determine clinical justification for treatment billed to insurance.

There should be a balanced amount of active and passive modalities as soon as possible after the beginning stages of treatment. As treatment progresses, active modalities should factor more heavily in the care plan.

Depending on the number of anatomical body regions effected by injury, the Oregon Guideline is  one 15 minute unit per body region plus one unit to bridge between areas or to complete. Therefore, with a neck, mid-back, and low back injury, the justification would be limited to up to three 15 minute units plus up to one more unit of massage to bridge the areas together and conclude.

Massage therapy should begin within 30 days of injury or it may not survive a challenge of clinical justification.  Massage after 90 days or potentially 120 days post accident has to be clinically justified.

Clinical justification is the reason we ask all those questions and get all that info from you when we start. We pay attention to detail so that difficulties don’t arise. Give us a call and set up an appointment.


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