A motor vehicle accident can have devastating consequences. Recovering psychologically and physically from the trauma of a car crash can be a difficult process that may take a long time. But it’s not a journey that has to be taken alone, as chiropractors can help a patient as they free themselves from pain and get back to leading an active healthy life.
Dr. Barbara Rodwin is very familiar with the arduous rehab many patients have to go through. An Ottawa based chiropractor who has been practicing for over 20 years now, Dr. Rodwin’s clinic specializes in a biomechanical approach to therapy, looking at the movement and function of the whole body. Her staff includes a registered massage therapist, a naturopath and a kinesiologist in order to provide a variety of perspectives and skill sets in helping patients heal.
Matt Morling would unfortunately need to rely on all of their skills and more. Five years ago, Matt was involved in a severe accident when another driver hit his vehicle head on. This devastating crash took the life of his grandmother and left Matt with fractures to his neck, left femur, ribs and, according to Dr. Rodwin, “the most extensive fractures to both feet I have ever seen.”
Following the accident, Matt was wheelchair bound for over two months, much of it spent in a rigid neck brace. And this was only the beginning of his road to recovery. When Matt went to see Dr. Rodwin, he had limited mobility, at times being in a wheelchair or on crutches due to the pain and difficulty of walking. The specialists at the hospital initially told him he was in danger of permanent paralysis, or at the very least, never being able to properly walk, much less run or engage in athletic activities, for the rest of his life.
“Matt’s treatment involved a number of different therapies and practitioners working in tandem,” said Dr. Rodwin. “I provided active release and other manual therapies, our RMT provided massage therapy, while our kinesiologist helped get Matt back on his feet by analysing his balance and gait with force plate analysis and providing custom orthotics that had to account for a screw that was protruding from his heel.”
Dr. Rodwin also referred Matt to physiotherapists to help provide exercises and stretches to help with his rehabilitation. This inter-professional approach to rehabilitation proved its value when Matt was complaining of pain due to one of his screws. The hospital specialists determined the screws were properly placed but Dr. Rodwin’s assessment found some warning signs. She had Matt sent for further X-rays, which revealed that the screws were sticking into his adductor muscles.
The path to rehabilitation is the road to getting back to doing the things you love to do. “Mobility is so important,” says Dr. Rodwin. “Being able to move and get around pain free is such a psychological boost and can help motivate patients to succeed with the rehab process.”
Today Matt is fully mobile and only comes in to Dr. Rodwin’s clinic around once a month for maintenance purposes. He has hardly any scar tissue present in his joints, his mobility is solid and all of his fractures have healed nicely. An avid golfer, he is back on the golf course playing 18 holes whenever he wants. Best of all, Matt was recently married, and was able to celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion by dancing all night long in the company of his friends and loved ones. “When I heard Matt was able to dance his wedding night away, I got goose bumps,” says Dr. Rodwin. It’s hard to find a more powerful illustration of the impact a dedicated team of healthcare professionals can have on someone’s life.