To stay on top of your health, you will likely interact with different types of doctors, including specialists like neurologists. Whether you visit a neurologist after a car accident, a work-related injury, or another issue, it helps to understand what this medical professional does.
Neurology refers to the medical branch focusing on the nervous system, including its disorders. There are two main parts of the nervous system. The central nervous system includes the spinal cord and brain. The peripheral nervous system covers other neural elements, including the sensory receptors, like the skin, ears, and eyes.
Neurologists are doctors specializing in neurology. They treat disorders affecting the nerves, spinal cord, and brain. There are around 16,400 neurologists in the United States.
Neurologists can also have sub-specialties, with just a few of those including headache medicine, geriatric neurology, child neurology, neurocritical care, and neuromuscular medicine.
A neurologist is likely to treat language and speech disorders, spinal cord disorders, and seizure disorders. Other conditions neurologists treat movement disorders, brain infections, headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, and demyelinating central nervous system diseases. A neurologist can also help treat stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Some symptoms that typically require treatment from a neurologist include dizziness, confusion, changes in sensations, muscle weakness, and coordination problems.
As part of diagnostics, neurologists commonly complete tests like lumbar punctures, nerve conduction studies, electromyography, and electroencephalography. Other tests they require include magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and computer-assisted tomography.
Commonly Performed Procedures and Treatments
There is a distinction between a neurologist and a neurosurgeon. Neurosurgeons are surgeons who specialize in neurology, while neurologists do not perform surgery.
Neurologists do perform some procedures, including the NCS/EMG and LP tests mentioned above. Those with specialization can also perform other procedures, such as endovascular procedures and autonomic testing.
If you are one of the 2.8 million people, who are non-fatally injured at work in the United States each year or in one of the numerous car accidents that happen annually, it is wise to visit a neurologist.
Your nervous system runs throughout your entire body, from the tips of your toes to your brain. As such, neurologists have the training to spot problems throughout every part of your body. This increases the chances that they will help you spot injuries from the work injury or car accident early. That can allow you to start treatment before your condition worsens.
In many cases, you won’t notice the symptoms of an injury because of endorphins, but a neurologist will spot the signs. This may even let you start treatment before you notice an issue. That way, you will dramatically reduce the amount of time you have to deal with pain and discomfort.
There are numerous symptoms that a neurologist in New York can treat following an accident or workplace injury. These can include:
Looking at some of the injuries that will cause those symptoms, your neurologist will treat injuries to the soft tissue of your neck or spine, neck or back fractures from whiplash, and concussions or cerebral contusions from the impact.
Everyone is different. What you need when you see a neurologist after a car accident may be different than the treatment someone else needs, even if you were in the same vehicle. Neurologists will personalize their treatment plans based on your specific issues and medical history.
Whether you’re visiting a neurologist after a work-related injury or car accident, their treatment will help you with pain management. Neurologists typically achieve this goal by getting to the root of your issues and treating it at the source. They supplement that with separate pain management methods. These can include anti-inflammatory and pain medicines, either over-the-counter or prescription. They can also cast or brace to immobilize the injured area and use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
Regardless of how good you feel and how extensive you think your injuries are, it is wise to see a neurologist after any major incident, including workplace injuries and car accidents. At the very least, visiting a specialist will help your claim. This will increase the chances that you will not have to pay for the treatment yourself.
By visiting a neurologist right away, even if you do not feel any symptoms, you are documenting accident-related injuries. More importantly, neurologists are likely to spot issues that you may overlook, even before you start feeling the injury’s impact. This is essential for the claims process as it documents your injuries early, letting you connect them to the accident. Suppose you were not to visit the neurologist until days or weeks later when your symptoms appeared. In that case, the insurance company may claim the symptoms are unrelated to your accident and refuse to cover the treatment—seeing your neurologist as soon as possible can prevent this issue.
One of the great things about seeing a neurologist after a work-related injury or a car accident is that you will not have to worry about paying out of pocket in most cases. If you get injured on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover the cost. If you sustain injuries from an auto accident, your New York no-fault insurance should cover neurological consultation and treatment.
The only requirement for the neurologist visits to get insurance coverage is to show that the treatment was medically necessary. Neurologists familiar with treating patients after workplace injuries or motor vehicle accidents will have no difficulty supporting medical necessity. They have experience in helping patients to get well and ensuring they get the proper treatment and coverage they deserve.
Board Certified Neurologist
Neurologist + PT, Chiro