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When Should You Stop Taking Over-the-Counter Medication?

Most people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers and other medication at the first sign of pain. In many cases, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen is enough to deal with minor aches, pains, and inflammation. However, these over-the-counter medications are far from a cure-all, and they are not meant to manage pain long-term or even more than the very short-term. Here are signs that you need to stop taking these medications and seek medical attention for your condition or to manage your pain.

The Pain Gets Worse

If your pain continues at the same level or gets progressively worse over the course of several days, your first instinct may be to take more over-the-counter medication. However, this can be dangerous, especially if you take more than the recommended dose. Worsening pain is a sign that you have an injury that is not healing on its own or other condition that is going to require something more than temporary pain relief.

The Pain Continues for More than a Few Days

If taking medication doesn’t make the pain go away, even if it lessens, you should seek medical attention. Pain is the body’s way of alerting you that something is not right, and if that pain is continuing, it means the problem is still there. You may need physical therapy, surgery, or other treatment before you will be pain-free. In some cases, you may be dealing with chronic pain. If that’s the case, you will need ways of managing the pain that does not rely on over-the-counter medications.

You Begin Experiencing Additional Pain or Symptoms

If you start experiencing pain in other parts of your body or symptoms such as vomiting blood or having issues breathing, you need to stop taking the over-the-counter medication and get help. Some of these symptoms could be signs that you have taken too much of the medication or that it’s interacting with other medications you take. In some cases, over-the-counter medication could make a condition worse. You may not even know you have this condition until symptoms appear.

Need help treating your chronic pain or diagnosing the cause of it? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.

  • Posted on: Nov 25 2020
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How Does Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel Work?

If you have developed a pain in your wrist and hand that continues for more than several days, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs by overworking the wrists, and those who work on the computer or who have jobs that require them to make repetitive hand movements often develop it. Early on, you can treat carpal tunnel by wearing a wrist brace, taking over-the-counter medication, and changing your work habits. However, many people find that they need surgery to truly alleviate the pain. The good news is that workers’ comp does cover carpal tunnel if you can show that you developed it on the job.

The Process of Applying for Workers’ Comp for Carpal Tunnel

When you first believe you may be suffering from carpal tunnel, you should notify your employer. Let them know even if you don’t have an official diagnosis yet because it’s important to document the entire process. You will need to let them know when you first began experiencing symptoms, too. After that is done, you will need to have the condition officially diagnosed and submit the appropriate paperwork to begin the workers’ comp process.

What Can Make the Process More Difficult?

Your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company is going to want to deny your claim, as they typically want to deny as many claims as possible to save them money. For carpal tunnel, this means they will be looking for anything they can use to show that your condition developed as the result of something you did outside of work. You will want to talk to your doctor about these activities and ask them what the likely primary cause of your carpal tunnel is.

The good news is that it’s often easy to see that work is that main cause because you engage in work-related activities 40 hours a week. It’s not likely that you do anything else as often. However, don’t hide any hobbies or other activities you do. If it comes out that you were attempting to hide activities that many have impacted your workers’ comp claim, it can result in your claim being dismissed.

Another way of making your claim pass through the system more quickly is to have an experienced workers’ comp doctor on your side. The team at Maximum Orthopedics has years of working with employees, and we can help you, too. Contact us today for a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Nov 15 2020
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Common Ways of Treating Neck Pain

Feeling pain in your neck? It’s not uncommon, but fortunately, many cases of neck pain are only temporary and will go away on their own as long as you don’t do anything to prolong the issue. Neck pain is often causes by inflammation, injury, overuse, or even poor posture. If your neck is hurting, here are a few things you can do to help relieve that pain.

Rest

In many cases, simply resting your neck is enough to make you feel better. You may have turned too quickly, bent your head at an odd angle, or have been starring downwards or upwards for too long. Resting your neck by placing your head in a neutral position for an hour or two should be all it takes. Make sure you’re using a pillow that doesn’t position your head at an awkward angle. If you frequently have a sore neck, you may want to look at a neck pillow that is designed to keep your head, neck, and back in alignment while you sleep.

Make certain you avoid moving your neck in any way that can cause additional pain. Avoid jerking your neck to one side or holding your head in any way that causes additional pain.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

You may also want to try over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. However, if you have to use these for more than a few days, you need to visit a doctor or chiropractor. It’s not common for neck pain to last that long.

Use Ice, then Heat

Using ice and heat is another proven way of reducing neck pain. Use ice for up to three days, then switch to heat. Again, if you have to use this treatment often or for long periods of time, you’re dealing with something more than a normal sore neck.

Get a Massage

Having someone massage your neck and upper back can also help. However, make certain to stop them if anything feels wrong or hurts more than a sore muscle should.

If your neck continues hurting for more than a few days, if the pain gets worse, or if you have repetitive neck pain, you need to seek out medical attention. The team here at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

  • Posted on: Oct 23 2020
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What Is a Pulled Muscle?

A strained or pulled muscle can be painful, especially if you don’t take the time to rest the muscle and allow it to heal. You can pull a muscle whenever you do something that overworks or tears the muscle or tendon. A pulled muscle can happen at any time without any kind of warning. It’s something that can also affect everyone regardless of age, health, or overall level of fitness.

Common Causes of a Pulled Muscle

There are many things that can cause a pulled muscle, Lifting something heavy or lifting something using your back instead of your legs can easily strain a muscle in your back. Failing to warm up or stretching before and after you work out can also put undue strain on a muscle. Having poor posture is another common cause.

Pulled Muscle Symptoms

You may have a pulled muscle if you feel weakness or pain when using that muscle. You may notice swelling, bruising, or some redness around that area, too. Even when you’re resting, the muscle may hurt. In extreme cases, you may even find that it’s hard to use the muscle that has been strained. You may not be able to continue working after pulling a muscle and, in fact, you shouldn’t continue what you were doing because you could strain the muscle even more.

Treating a Pulled Muscle

In many cases, a pulled muscle will heal on its own with some rest, but you can help manage the pain and reduce the time it takes to heal. You can take anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen to help with the pain. You can apply ice for 20 minutes per hour to the muscle, too, in order to get the inflammation down. After three days, you can change the ice out for a heating pad. You can wrap the muscle using a compression or elastic band to provide support and reduce swelling, but you do need to be careful. If you wrap it too tight, you’ll reduce circulation. That will affect how quickly the muscle is able to heal.

Do You Need Medical Attention?

If you are in significant pain, are unable to walk, or are experiencing major inflammation, you need to come see us here at Maximum Orthopedics right away. Your strained muscle may be more problematic than normal. Contact us today to make an appointment.

  • Posted on: Oct 15 2020
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Common Workers’ Comp Questions

Have you been injured at work? If you have, you may be thinking about applying for workers’ comp. You may, though, have some questions about what workers’ comp is and what it covers. Here are the answers to some of these common questions.

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

It can be difficult to provide a standard answer for this without knowing the circumstances surrounding your injury. However, typically, you qualify for workers’ compensation if you were injured while performing actions related to your job. This includes being in your workplace, being away from your workplace while engaged in something for your business, and potentially even while working from home.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Compensation?

Again, this depends on how long it takes for the workers’ comp insurance investigation and approval. You need to file your claim as soon as you can because there is a time limit. While there are some deadlines insurance companies must follow, there are some things you can do to speed up the process. Make certain you file all of the paperwork as quickly as possible and that you include all of the documentation asked for. The more cooperative you are, the easier the process will be.

Will I Be Paid While I Recover?

Yes, you should receive some compensation while you are unable to work. In some cases, this is your full salary. In others, it’s a percentage of your salary. It depends on what insurance company your employer is working with, although most states do require workers’ comp to cover at least 66% of your salary.

Should I Pay Any Medical Bills I receive?

If you receive any medical bills in between filing your workers’ comp case and having it approved, you should let the billing department know that you have a pending case. Forward these bills to your employer or to their workers’ comp insurance representative when your case is approved.

Should I See a Specialist?

Absolutely. If you’ve been injured while at work, you may go to your primary care doctor for treatment. However, you should also visit with a doctor who specializes in workers’ comp claims and benefits. The team here at Maximum Orthopedics has years of experiencing helping those who have been injured on the job. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

  • Posted on: Sep 30 2020
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The Dangers of Managing Chronic Pain with Medication

If you have chronic pain from an injury, arthritis, or other condition, you have likely been given medication for it at some point. While medication can help short-term, using it to manage your chronic pain carries with it a number of dangers that you need to be aware of.

You Can Become Addicted

If you take anything stronger than over-the-counter medications, you may run the risk of becoming an addict. It’s even possible to become mentally addicted to something like ibuprofen. You may come to believe that you can’t go about your day unless you’ve taken your medication, so even if you don’t have a physical dependence on the drug, you are still dealing with a type of dependence. Breaking this mental dependency can be very difficult.

It’s Masking the Pain, Not Addressing the Cause

Medication is a short-term solution because it does nothing to actually address the cause of your pain. This means it will never make the pain go away permanently. All it does is mask the pain for short periods of time, forcing you to take the medication regularly to keep that pain from impacting your life.

You May Develop a Tolerance

Your body can build up a tolerance to the pain medication over time, forcing you to take more and more of it at once to get the same effects. At some point, you may reach the limits of how much pain medication you can safely take within a 24-hour period. If you reach that point, you may find that you have to deal with the pain for part of the day because you cannot take any more medication right away.

There Are Side Effects

Pain medication often has a number of side effects, even over-the-counter medications. If you take this medication long-term or take too much of it at once, it can damage parts of your body or lead to other medical conditions.  For example, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in many over-the-counter brand name medications, can lead to liver damage if you take more than is recommended within a certain time period or if you take it with alcohol.

We Provide Other Pain Management Methods

If you want to avoid taking medication to manage your chronic pain, we can help. We can diagnose your condition and determine if options such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or orthopedic surgery are right for you. Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment.

  • Posted on: Sep 15 2020
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Why is Whiplash So Dangerous?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries people get from a car accident. It occurs when the head is forced forward, then whipped backwards suddenly. It can damage the tendons, ligaments, and tissue found in the neck and spine. Unfortunately, this damage can be quite severe. But it’s only one of the reasons why whiplash is so dangerous.

It’s an Invisible Injury

When you have a cut, a bruise, a broken bone, or other obvious injuries, the medical team at the scene of the accident knows to treat them. These injuries are obvious to any doctor or medical professional. Whiplash, however, it’s easy to quickly diagnose. It’s not something that is immediately visible to a first responder or even to a doctor. It’s also not something you may notice right away. Your adrenaline rush can easily cover any of the pain from whiplash. The pain may not even appear after that initial rush. You may not feel whiplash pain for several days.

Primary Care Doctors Aren’t Experts in the Neck and Spine

Another reason whiplash is so dangerous is that primary care doctors often miss it or don’t know what to look for. They’re not experts in treating injuries of the neck and spine. While many will suggest you see an orthopedic specialist, not all doctors will, especially if they think your neck is fine. If you’re not feeling any pain and there’s no obvious damage, they may not recognize that you have whiplash.

Whiplash Symptoms Can Last for Years

In most cases, whiplash only lasts a few months. You’ll recover without any type of surgery, though seeing a chiropractor can help. However, if you have more than mild damage and it’s not addressed, it’s possible you will experience symptoms for months or even years. It could turn into chronic pain that impacts your ability to enjoy life.

This potential for long-term damage coupled with the fact that whiplash isn’t always easy to diagnose means that you need to seek an expert opinion after a car accident. If you know you experienced whiplash, called Maximum Orthopedics today. Our experts know exactly what to look for and how to treat this condition.

  • Posted on: Aug 25 2020
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Will Quitting Your Job Affect an Ongoing Workers’ Comp Case?

Dealing with an injury that occurred while working can be stressful. While the workers’ comp process is designed to ensure that you have the funds to cover all medical costs and make certain you’re not under undue financial stress while you can’t work, it’s not a process that many people understand. It’s also a process that can become derailed if the paperwork isn’t submitted correctly or on time. Fortunately, one thing you won’t have to worry over is your employment status.

The Connection Between Employment and Workers’ Comp

If you have to leave your job due to the injuries you sustained or because you’ve decided you no longer wish to work with your employer, it won’t impact your ability to have workers’ comp pay for your medical bills. Once the case has been filed, it no longer ties you to your employer. In fact, it’s not unusual for injured employees to leave their job if their injuries were severe.

However, while workers’ comp will still cover your medical bills, there is a chance that you will lose the option for vocational rehabilitation. Workers comp may pay for you to go through rehab so you can return to your job. It may also pay for you to learn a new job if your injuries were so severe you can’t return to doing the work you once did. However, if you change jobs on your own, you may no longer have that option.

Temporary Disability Payments May Also Be Affected

If you’re unable to return to work, your employer will pay likely pay you temporary disability. This money is to help you make end meet until you return to work. If you quit your job, however, it’s possible your former employer could stop those payments. If you leave for a new job that pays less than what you currently make and the reason is due to your injuries, you may receive a partial disability. This area can become very murky, so it’s best you have a legal professional on your side who is very familiar with workers’ compensation laws.

Maximum Orthopedics is here to help you with all of your workers’ comp paperwork and medical needs. If you need to make a claim, we can help. Contact us today to set up a meeting.

  • Posted on: Aug 15 2020
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What Is an Independent Medical Examination?

When you’re injured in an accident at work, you’re going to want to work with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. It’s only natural that you would see the medical professional you’ve worked with for years. However, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company may require you to also see another doctor for what they call an independent medical examination. This examination is vital to your case, but you may not know exactly what the point of it is. Let’s look at the basics of an IME, as they’re usually called.

It’s a Neutral Doctor

You may have been with your current doctor for years or decades. Some people have had the same primary care physician for all of their adult life. You know and trust your doctor, but the insurance company sees this as a problem. They believe your doctor may be biased towards you, so they want you to see an independent, neutral doctor who will, in their minds, more honestly and accurately report your injuries.

Why Does the Insurance Company Not Trust Your Doctor?

In most cases, the workers’ comp insurance company isn’t saying they think your doctor is intentionally lying. However, they do believe that they may be unconsciously biased because they’ve known you for so long. They also want any major treatment, such as surgery or other expensive or extensive procedures, to be confirmed by another doctor. If your doctor has diagnosed you as being permanently disabled, they will also want this confirmed. It’s more or less a second opinion, but unfortunately, one that carries a lot of weight in your case.

Who Selects this Doctor?

In New York, the doctor is selected by the insurance company, your employer if they provide their own worker’s comp insurance, or by the NY State Insurance Fund. This does bring into question their neutrality since the insurance company is paying them. In some cases, you are allowed to select the doctor, while in other cases, the doctor is selected by the judge in your case or is randomly pulled from a pool of qualified doctors.

What Happens During the Exam?

This exam isn’t going to be like a normal medical exam. Instead, the doctor is going to review your entire medical history, look over any documentation regarding your injury from your doctor, and talk to you about any treatment and symptoms you’re experiencing. If they perform a physical exam, it’s likely to be fairly short or limited. They often look more at your reactions and, in their letter, discuss their impressions of your injury. Also note that anything you tell this doctor can be repeated—there is no doctor/patient confidentiality!

If you’ve been injured at work, you want a doctor on your side who will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Here at Maximum Orthopedics, we provide very thorough and honest injury reports that will help you prove your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

  • Posted on: Jul 28 2020
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Common Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, and for some people, they’re their main form of transportation. However, there’s also a risk to riding motorcycles. If you’re involved in an auto accident, you’re much more likely to be injured than if you were driving a car. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur from a motorcycle accident.

Fractures and Broken Bones

When you’re thrown from a motorcycle, even while wearing protective gear, it’s still easy to fracture or break a bone. During accidents, the motorcycle often falls over, trapping the rider’s leg under it. Having all of this weight hit the leg at once can easily break it. Riders also tend to try to break their fall with their arms, which can result in damage to the arm and wrist.

Road Rash

Road rash occurs when you go sliding across the road. The pavement causes cuts and scratches on any skin that isn’t covered by a jacket. In some cases, even light jackets or a long-sleeved shirt isn’t enough to protect you. The pavement can actually shred this light material. These injuries may leave behind permanent scars.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Being thrown from a motorcycle can cause damage to your spine. Some motorcycle riders are even left unable to walk after a serious accident. These injuries tend to be quite severe and require surgery or long-term hospitalization to recover.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Injury to the brain can also occur, especially if you’re not wearing a helmet. Even those who do wear helmets are still at risk of a brain injury, although that risk is greatly reduced. Traumatic brain injuries account for more than half of the deaths from motorcycle accidents. Those who survive often find themselves permanently affected by the injury.

Dealing with Auto Accidents and Recovery

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to seek compensation, especially if your injuries were severe. You may also need physical therapy. The team here at Maximum Orthopedics can help you with both. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

  • Posted on: Jul 15 2020
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