Whiplash Response Regimen

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our Whiplash Program is geared toward helping you get back to activity and life

At Leading Edge Physiotherapy we agree with the research that shows return to activity is key to your recovery. However, we also know that it isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. So we offer mad skills, technology and knowledge with a dash of personality to make the treatment and process more comfortable. It is with great pride and our humble privilege to provide care to those who have suffered an injury in a mva (motor vehicle collision) in Edmonton and St. Albert.

Injuries from motor vehicle accidents are often the most complex that a therapist may face. We want to ensure that our patients get the most experience and latest treatment options so that they have the best chance of recovery. Further, our patients can rest assured that we are working only for them and that their goals are what matter most. We don’t sign agreements with insurance companies because we don’t want to confuse who we are working for.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash of the neck is caused by any sudden involuntary forced movement of the head in any direction and the resultant rebound of the head or neck in the opposite direction. Consequently there are injuries to the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head, which in turn may lead to a variety of signs and symptoms that you may be feeling.

What is WAD?

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) is a categorization of the signs and symptoms that may be present following a motor vehicle collision. These symptoms can present themselves immediately following the collision or several days after.

The symptoms below explain how your physical therapist or Doctor arrive at the categorization that applies to your injuries. It is important to know that this is a categorization to assist with the claim process and is not necessarily a complete diagnosis as you may have other injuries to the spine not captured by this system.

  • WAD 1: Neck pain complaints, only stiffness or tenderness (Normal range of motion)
  • WAD 2: Neck complaints of pain and stiffness and musculoskeletal signs (decreased range of motion and point tenderness)
  • WAD 3: Neck complaints and neurological signs (weakness, sensory and reflex changes)
  • WAD 4: Neck complaints and fracture and/or dislocation

Other symptoms that you may be feeling include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, shoulder girdle pain, impaired vision, sleep disturbances and/or jaw pain. The symptoms that are present at the time of the collision may change considerably over the first 4-6 weeks and should be monitored by your Doctor and/or physical therapist to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Assessment is the first step to recovery

Your initial visit will entail a detailed examination including a history, musculoskeletal, biomechanical, and neurological examinations. We will spend the time necessary to determine a physical therapy diagnosis, upon which we will be able to base your treatments.

Following your assessment, your physiotherapist will provide you with a categorization of your injuries. This category applies to your neck. It will assist in the case management of your injury and provide you with some guidance as to how to get reimbursement from your insurer. For information about payment and funding of your whiplash injury please see the funding portion of this web site.

Our Edge Response Program is aimed at getting you back to activity as soon as safely possible

Return to activity is key to your recovery and we have several tools that will assist with this. In addition to physical therapy interventions, we offer on site acupuncture, IMS, Graston Technique and our own in-house protocols to guide you in your recovery. All of our therapists are able to access the experience of one another at any given moment to provide you with the care of the Edge Team. This means that your treatments may be carried out by one therapist, but it is guided and supported by over 100 years of combined experience in treating complex motor vehicle injuries.

We have combined our years of experience in treating complex and severe motor-vehicle accident injuries with our extensive skill set and technology to arrive at a treatment program that melds evidence based care with compassion. Our treatment program is delivered in multiple phases to ensure that a patient receives the right treatment for the right problem/symptoms at the right time. Most important, our program is delivered within a transparent model, whereby all of our patients are being treated in their best interest, without agreements or memorandums of understanding between our clinic and your insurer. We believe that you are the client and not the insurer, which is why your Doctor, friends and family will refer you to us, but you won’t likely be referred to us by an insurance company.

The phases of our program are as follows:

Phase 1: Assessment – to be completed over the 1st 10 days following your collision depending on the number and severity of injuries. We may utilize our occupational therapist to perform a mini-functional assessment in order to accurately monitor your progression in key areas of self-care, productivity and leisure activities.

Phase 2: Acute Treatment Phase – In-depth education, initial provision of movement oriented exercises and early joint mobilization. This may be augmented by modalities such as acupuncture, heat, TNS and ultrasound. Early focus on safe range of motion, postural corrective exercise and safe functional exercise patterns. Phase 1 and 2 overlap.

Phase 3: Acute/Chronic Phase – Introduction of more aggressive joint and soft tissue mobilization, integration of light resistance and progression of functional exercises, continuation of modalities to facilitate return to sport/work/activity.

Phase 4: Work/Sport/Activity Specific phase – Integration of advice and exercise specific to the difficulties that exist in your ability to perform activities that are important to you.

Phase 5: Discharge – Provision of self-care advice and programs aimed at sustaining the level you wish to achieve.

All phases are designed to be patient specific and are customized to the injuries that you may have sustained.

You will notice no timelines listed above, since different injuries and different people will have different needs at different times during their healing. We will strive to provide the type of care that is right for you, at the right time and for the right problem. For example, we are able to design a specific exercise program that takes into account each person’s injuries, activity tolerance, time, work schedule and life! At each phase there may be the inclusion of techniques that are Leading Edge, aimed at giving you the best opportunity to get back to the person you were before the accident.

You need to be seen by a Physical Therapist or Doctor within 10 days of the collision to facilitate the claim process and provide early intervention that has been shown to produce better outcomes.

We recommend that a patient attend as soon as possible. The first few days after an accident can be quite painful and even scary. Our team will spend the time to ensure that you get the information you need to support you through the initial stages of your recovery.

Is the sky blue?

Two forms need to be completed within 10 days…

The AB-1 is a form that you complete to provide your insurer details of your collision and the AB-2 is completed by your physical therapist to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan to your insurer. We will provide the forms and assist you in the completion of them in order to get your care underway promptly.

No. You do not need a referral from a physician or your insurance company. You simply need to contact us to begin your treatment.

No you don’t. Under the laws and regulations in Alberta, you have the right to decide where you attend.

At Leading Edge our patients can rest assured that we are working for them and that their goals are what matter most. We don’t sign agreements with insurance companies because we don’t want to confuse who we are working for. This is why your insurer may not recommend our clinic, even if your family, friends and doctors may have.

This will depend on how soon you attend and how your injury is classified. Please refer to the funding pages of our website for further information.