Assessment of client involved in an MVA

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The assessment of a client who has recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident should be done before, during, and after administering massage therapy treatment. In the pre-massage assessment, the therapist should be sure to determine any contraindications associated with this kind of situation. These are most likely to be inflammation, bruising, and whiplash (72 hrs. after initial injury). Obtain a physicians clearance for any sprains, strains, fractures or whiplash. Discuss any pain or discomfort the client had prior to the accident to better establish what issues are associated with the accident and what might be a chronic problem. Make sure there has been an adequate amount of time between the accident and the massage treatment. Be sure to keep in mind the client could also have an injury that has yet to manifest. Also, the therapist should document the objective as well as subjective observations, types of modalities to be used, and the clients consent to perform these modalities. During the massage therapy treatment, the therapist should assess any additional swelling, sensitivities, or constrictions through palpation. Observe any bruising assessed in the pre-consultation and make note of any additional bruising. In the post-massage assessment, the therapist should note any findings made during the massage that were not determined in the pre-massage assessment. The therapist should communicate any of these findings with the client. Evaluate how they feel after the treatment and the effectiveness of the modalities used. Give the client self-care suggestions on maintaining the benefits of the massage and/or help them speed up recovery. These could be to apply ice to any swelling, drinking plenty of water, and if they are not currently receiving physical therapy, any stretching or joint mobilizations.

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