Question:It's been six months since I had a motorcycle accident in which I hurt my neck. I still have pain everyday. I barely make it to work and back. I have no life but to survive. Without health insurance, I'm stuck. What do other people do for their neck pain?
Answer:Most people with neck pain never see a doctor, physical therapist, or other health care specialist. The decision to seek medical care is often based on availability of these services and reimbursement allowances.
In many places around the world (and even in rural America), treatment options are very limited. There may only be a remote clinic staffed by a nurse or physician's assistant. Urgent health care may not be available.
No care and self-care are the main options when professional health care isn't available for whatever reason. Self-care may include self-massage, over-the-counter pain relievers, hot or cold compresses.
Some patients begin with a program of simple range of motion exercises. Rhythmical and repetitive activities such as walking with reciprocal leg and arm action can be very helpful for some people. Basic yoga classes are often offered on public television or available from the public library on tape or DVD for home viewing.
If you feel you need the services of a medical doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist, you may be able to arrange for a long-term plan of billing for services. Many local health care professionals are willing to spread payments out as far as needed by the patients/clients. It's always worth asking. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.Jaime Guzman, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), et al. A New Conceptual Model of Neck Pain. In Spine. Supplement to February 15, 2008. Vol. 33. No. 4S. Pp. S14-S23.
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