Healing Questions

Even though massage therapy may be performed immediately after an accident, you should always check with a medical doctor (MD) or a Chiropractor (DC) to see the extent of structural damage, nerve damage and internal or external injuries before getting a massage treatment. There may be damage that would not allow massage therapy to be done right away.
Right after your car accident, massage therapy can help you recover by helping to restore balance to your autonomic nervous system. Relaxing techniques, like Swedish massage can help reverse the effects that the shock and trauma of a car wreck can have on your nervous system. Massage also promotes circulation of both blood and lymph, which can help manage the swelling that usually comes with car accident injuries. After a few days to a few weeks, as healing progresses, massage therapy will help release contracted muscles, maintain and improve range of motion, and help prevent the formation of scar tissue and muscle adhesions.
Yes. Massage therapy can bring immediate relief although permanent pain-free healing is usually a series of treatments away because injured muscles return to normal slowly. With injured muscles it is kind of two steps forward, one step back.
When the body is exposed to trauma, the muscles contract to protect themselves from injury and to hold joints and other fragile body parts in stable positions to prevent injury. When the threat is no longer present, the body is often unable to release those muscles and they stay tight. Massage therapy is often needed to remind the body that it is safe now to let those muscles loose. Your body is like a roller coaster. Without enough speed it may not be able to make it over the next rise and get caught in a valley, rocking back and forth. All it needs is a little push to get it up and over the top and on its way. Often all the muscles need is a little "push" and they will be "up and on their way".
The body is an electrical machine. Consequently muscles have electrical properties. When the ohms of resistance in a muscle are too high it becomes unhealthy and cannot function properly. If the resistance goes high enough it reaches the pain threshold and the muscle begins hurting. By the charged touch and pressure of a trained LMT the resistance is lowered, often to below the pain threshold…taking the muscle out of pain.
With severe muscle injury recovery can take up to 30 treatments or more with milder injuries taking maybe half that many. Every body is different. Some are an "accident waiting to happen" before they get injured and others are less tense and able to speed treatment by better cooperation with it. The acute injury in an accident responds much more slowly than the chronic injury of stress or repetitive movement which can often be resolved in a handful of treatments.
Water, Rest, and Reduce Stress
• Water is at the top of the list of things you can do. It is important to drink lots of water but also very important to soak the injured muscles in water. Both help to wash and draw out toxins that have been stirred up.
• When you soak, water is absorbed through the skin to some degree and helps flush out areas of congestion. Soaking in water will decrease soreness and hasten recovery after a massage.
• Getting adequate rest can also help you recover faster.
• A lower stress load and peace of mind help to relax the system overall and helps with recovery.
When injured, the large muscles in the low back can become inflamed and spasm which causes pain and stiffness.
Ice massages can help provide relief for back pain in a number of ways, including:
• Use of ice slows the inflammation and swelling that occurs after injury. Inflammation is involved in most back pain and getting rid of it helps reduce the pain
• Ice massage therapy numbs sore tissues like a local anesthetic.
• Ice massage therapy slows the nerve impulses in the area, which breaks up the pain-spasm reaction between the nerves
• Ice massage therapy reduces tissue damage
Ice massage therapy is most effective if it is applied soon after the injury occurs.

Insurance Questions

Yes. Car insurance comes with Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP).
Minnesota law requires that all insurers provide personal injury protection benefits (PIP) when issuing your insurance policy. Minnesota PIP pays for your medical bills and things such as ongoing lost wages, medication, and care in your home while you are recovering, regardless of who is at fault. It protects you from becoming in debt while you are treating and gathering evidence for your insurance claim.
At a minimum, Minnesota requires coverage enough so that your medical bills are covered for up to one year (12 months) or $20,000. However, it is a good idea to purchase a policy that provides PIP coverage above $20,000 and for more than one year.
With a prescription/referral from your doctor, usually a primary physician (MD) or chiropractor (DC), PIP covers licensed massage therapy. So massage therapy is not only a critical part of your recovery, but also a viable option from a legal/financial standpoint. It is your legal right to choose the Massage Therapist you would like to work with.
I have experience in Minnesota insurance billing and can bill your personal injury protection (PIP) benefit for massage therapy so that it is more convenient for you.
Most healthcare plans do not cover massage therapy unless the buyer puts it in their policy as an added benefit. There is a much higher chance that your policy covers massage if you are an employee with a group policy. It never hurts to call and check your coverage.