Non-Invasive Approaches to Auto Accident Injuries.

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Chris DeBari:

We’re really glad to have you here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

I am originally from New Jersey. I did my undergrad in New Jersey, my grad school upstate New York. Grad school, meaning chiropractic school. And graduated, went back to Jersey, practiced there for a couple of years, and then we moved down to Tampa 16 years ago, and have been practicing in Tampa for 14.

Chris DeBari:

Wow. Well time goes quickly. And you and I met, probably at least 12 years ago right?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

No. You were my first contact in Tampa, so it was 2007 or 2008 that we met.

Chris DeBari:

It was that long ago? Wow.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Yes. We do all together.

Chris DeBari:

Yes. We really have. We’ve done a lot of work together on a lot of cases and I think I’ve been very happy with everything. I know my clients have been, as your patients. So you have a chiropractic degree. Where did you go to law school or where did you go to chiropractic school?

Dr. Archana Mehta: I went to chiropractic school in upstate New York; New York Chiropractic College, graduated in 1999 and then went back to New Jersey and practiced in New Jersey for about two to two and a half years on my own. And then we decided to move down to Tampa and enjoy the Florida lifestyle. And it’s been great.

Chris DeBari:

And when did you dream up chiropractic naturally?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

You know, I’ve always been a person that wanted to do something. I didn’t believe in medicine a hundred percent. Right. Growing up my, I used to get severe headaches and my parents took me to the doctors and everybody’s like, “oh, here, just take Advil, take this, take that, do a follow up in a few weeks or in a month and we’ll go from there.” I’ve gotten MRIs or CT scans and stuff. And they pretty much came down to go ahead and just take this. And this is what I have to live with. So I just knew that wasn’t for me, going into medicine, but I wanted to help people feel better and not be dependent on medicine. So, chiropractic all natural came together.

Chris DeBari:

That’s really fantastic. That’s a great philosophy. It seems to me the allopathic approach has kind of become so standard. But it’s not always the best thing. And people have become drugstores and it’s nice to know there are other things to do. It’s interesting because we both have something in common. We both deal with people that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents a good deal of the time. How much of your practice would you say you dedicate toward motor vehicle accidents?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So my practice probably is about 25 to 35% motor vehicle. And then the other percent is all, major medical cash, patient, family wellness visit. So our practice is little bit of everything. It’s just not all motor vehicle accident patients because I like to help everybody that’s out there, not just with accident patients. There’s elderlies that are constantly suffering with aches and pains and they get into an accident and kids and just family promoting just chiropractic as wellness as opposed to waiting till you’re in pain or suffering from a car accident.

Chris DeBari:

Now, when people that have motor vehicle accidents in particular, it seems that their needs are maybe a little bit different than just your average person that’s showing up with maybe sciatic nerve inflammation or maybe just the typical bad back. I mean, you’re seeing people that are very much an acute phase of pain. And how does that vary your approach?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So when somebody comes in with a motor vehicle accident, we sit down with them and we really do a thorough more detailed history and consult with them and an exam to figure out how much was it pre-existing? What’s happening now? How is it affecting your daily routine since the accident? What were you able to do before that you can’t do now? So we sit down with them and we talk about details and how is it taking over their life. And we of course do the exam; neurological orthopedic exam and chiropractic exam and take x-rays. We have x-rays on premises, so by looking at x-ray determining whiplash, how bad is it? We send out the x-rays to the radiologist to give radiology read on it. And then from there we determine what the treatment plan is with the patients.

Chris DeBari:

And now, the x-ray is going to tell you if there are any fractures, any gross dislocations, but you can also detect abnormal levels in the spine too, from x-rays can’t you.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Right. With obviously fractures and stuff like that it’s like, “okay, just go ahead and go to the ER I don’t want to touch you. I’ll touch you once that fracture is healed”. But with other degrees of injuries in the spine, like soft tissue injuries, obviously you want to look at ligamentous injuries in the spine, right? If there’s a severe whiplash, you’re going to see ligament laxity, which means that the ligaments have been overly stretched weakened from the accident. And when they bend their head forward or bend their head back, there’ll be an over translation. There’ll be too much movement in their vertebral spine.

Chris DeBari:

And that fascinates me and we see a lot of that in our businesses. So can you explain to us kind of what the dynamic of like a rear end collision whiplash type of injury is like,

Dr. Archana Mehta:

As far as how it affects into the spine or…

Chris DeBari:

Begin with what happens to somebody. What’s actually happening to their neck in that process?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So for example, if somebody got rear-ended obviously, good thing is a lot of people these days wear their seatbelt. So that actually traps you in, right? If you’re not wearing your seatbelt, your body’s going to completely jolt forward and your chest could hit the steering wheel. But with your upper body trapped in with the whiplash, when you get hit, your head pretty much goes into that backward and that forward jolt movement. And when that’s happening, that spine really takes a compression type of an impact, right? If your head’s going back, all the elements in the spine, your spinous process, which are the boney areas that you feel in your spine and back of your neck, they’re getting compressed. So anything that’s in there are getting compressed, right? So for example, if you land on your knee, that need just takes a compression injury and it hurts, right?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So same thing happens with your neck. You have little muscles and veins and arteries that get compressed. So when you go into backward motion, you’re also over stretching the front aspect, all the elements in the front, right? So we have to look at both aspects of your spine. The front end back; the back takes the compression, the front takes overstretching of the ligaments in the front, right? So that can also create a lot of swelling into the neck and then your neck goes forward. And then the opposite happens which is crushing, compressing of all the front elements and then overstretching the back elements. And if it’s really severe, then you can have tears within the ligaments or deeper inside your spine affecting your disk as well.

Chris DeBari: And let’s talk a little bit about, I mean, those are some very delicate structures in your body. But how does the spine operate? How do discs work?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

How do disk work as far as…

Chris DeBari:

Well I mean, anatomically, you have the disc itself, it’s got its hard outer annulus, it’s nucleus pulposus, its vicious in its center and they’re basically the shock absorbers for the spine.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Exactly. So I always describe patients think of, think of a jelly donut, right? You have your donut and then you have the jelly inside and that represents your disk, right? So if you take the jelly donut and compress it onto the backside of it, that Jelly’s going to move forward, right? So if you’re compressing the back element of that donut, which means taking your head back, right, that jelly moves forward. Now go ahead and take the jelly donut and push it towards the front, that Jelly’s going to shift back. Right? And that jelly now is being pushed towards the back wall of the spinal cord. And if that impact is so hard it can cause that wall to start expanding, right? So, that expansion can lead into different levels of herniation in your spine.

Chris DeBari:

Like a bulge. How would you characterize a bulge?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So the best way I explained it to my patient is you take your jelly donut and this is the wall of the jelly donut. That’s pretty nice and even, you want to go ahead and squeeze it because you want to see what’s inside. Is it cherry or is it grape jelly donut, right? So the kid’s going to take that donut and go ahead and squeeze it gently. Some kids might just squeeze it really hard and get that jelly out. But a lot of us will be like, let’s just squeeze it. And you squeeze that donut, and that wall is going to start expanding right. Now, you look at this and it’s nice and tight, but when you start squeezing it, that wall starts pulling out. Right there, I would call this a bulge, right? Because, you still can’t see what’s inside.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

You can’t distinguish the color that’s inside. So it just creates that little bit of a bulge into that donut that represents the bulging disk. Now take that disk, take that donut, squeeze it a little bit harder. Now that wall starts going even further and you can start seeing that separation. Right? And you can start seeing the color inside, but you still can’t distinguish whether it’s purple or pink. Right? So I would call that a protrusion. Now from this, it’s going to go expanding a little bit further, to really pushes it out. So that would be your protrusion and squeeze a little bit more. Right? So you see the separation happening, squeeze it more. Now you could see the color that’s going through it. It’s like, oh, it’s cherry. I don’t want it. I’ll take the next one. I want, I’m looking for the gray. So, and then…

Chris DeBari:

And that would be an extroversion

Dr. Archana Mehta: That would be an extrusion. And then go ahead and squeeze it more where the jelly comes out. Right? And that would be a sequestered disk.

Chris DeBari:

Whereas it’s actually completely out of the disk. And maybe even sometimes separate from the disk.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

It’s separate from the desk or it could be going into the spinal canal itself. So, a lot of people say I have a herniated disc, but the herniated disc can be categorized into four different levels, bulge, protrusion, extrusion and sequestered.

Chris DeBari:

Like you explained it, okay. And in addition to indentation or pressure on the spinal canal, I mean, that can cause all kinds of things like that can cause numbness, tingling, sensations. The disks either bulging or herniated could also touch on the nerve roots that exit the spine. So what happens with that?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So the disk, depending on where it’s been a bulging protrusion, where it’s herniated, right? It could be little bit to the right side, a little bit to the left side. And one might wonder like how does one determine? And when you take that MRI, it literally creates different slices in two different ways to determine exactly where that herniation is located. Right? So you take your loaf of bread, you slice it long-ways and you have your traditional size. So the radiologist is going to take that loaf of bread, look at the slices and determine oh, that’s where it, it’s more to the left side, more to the right side versus it’s all central. Right?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

And depending on where it is, it can touch the nerves. Whether it’s the nerve root itself or is it touching way up close to the spinal cord. Right? So, if it’s touching the nerve root itself yes, that can create specific patterns of where that pain is being distributed. Whether patients will come in like, oh, I have pain right. In these two fingers or right in my middle finger or my pinky and my ring finger that tells us exactly which nerve root is being affected.

Chris DeBari:

Well, that’s pretty amazing. I’ve seen that a lot at a time where a certain level affects a certain part of the hand or the arm or fingers and so forth. So now you have mentioned an MRI which, unlike a static x-rays, an MRI gives us image soft tissue. And I guess each slice is sort of an opportunity to see something different. Each Slice is so many opportunities for the radiologist to actually hit on something that might be there. So, you had the MRI see pretty much everything you need to see then what do you do if you have a patient that has bulges?

Dr. Archana Mehta: So, once we get the MRIs obtained, we go over the results with the patient. And then from there, we’ll determine, we’ll definitely send the patient out for an ortho consult just to make sure, we’re not missing anything else. Like as far as treatment wise, We forgot to mention that by the time we get MRIs done, you were looking at the patient. We’re already been seeing the patient for about two to three, four weeks in the office, because I do like to get the patient to come in. We do the x-ray, we start them on treatment plan and give them a week to three week period of time for the inflammation to settle, to see what else is, going to surface. And according to that, we’ll send the patient out for MRIs. And by that

time, the patient is being seen in the office and is starting to get some results; whether things are getting worse, things are not responding. According to that, we always modify patients’ treatments. You know?

Chris DeBari:

So what are some of the modalities that you like to employ?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So some of the stuff when patient comes in, we definitely tell patients off the bat. Stay away from heat completely because heat feels good, but when you take it off, it can backfire. That’s what I seen in my practice over the years. So I always tell patients your ice is going to be your best friend for next couple of months. And even when you’re not sure what to put on ice, is the safest bet. So we do ice. We do electric stim. A lot of people know it as tens unit, but ours is more commercial grade tens units. So it’s much stronger, penetrates a little bit deeper. We do ultrasound in the office as well as ultrasound combo, which is a combination with electric stim and ultrasound together, which really works really well. It helps break down muscle spasms much faster, and also gives a good improvement with range of motion too.

Chris DeBari:

Where, does the importance of blood flow come in when it comes to treating the most common types of injuries, which I guess would be soft tissue from an accident?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Well, anytime you have increased blood flow, right? It’s going to help flush out the lactic acid that builds up, scar tissue that builds up. So blood flow is the nutrition to the tissue. So having that blood flow constantly being good in that area is great because whenever you have inflammation, it constricts the muscle fibers and their nerve flow and the blood flow into that area. So minute you start reducing muscle spasm, minute, you start reducing inflammation, the blood vote gets improved much better,

Chris DeBari:

And this can all be accomplished noninvasively?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Yes, it can. And obviously, I always tell patients that there’s going to be time where your pain is so intense and you need to take something we always recommend to consult their primary doctor or any other medical physicians to get other means of treatment that they need medically to get that edge off. But we always try to encourage patients like, okay, lets go ahead and do electrics and let’s go ahead and do manual therapy or stretches or we’ll do some strengthening exercise to get you better to your normal optimal health.

Chris DeBari:

And one of the modalities that I have personally found to be very effective for my back is decompression. What’s that about?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So decompression, we use that with patients especially with [inaudible 00:19:54] whether it’s cervical or lumbar herniations. Patients are, you call it the medieval torture chamber if you want to. when it’s their low back, we put them in the upper body harness and a lower body harness. And then it’s attached to a machine that we put the parameters in there as far as how much pull do we want, how much weight poundage pull do we want, right? So when somebody is acute and we’re talking about low back lumbar spine area, we’ll maybe start them out with anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds of pull. And it’s not much for the low back, but it’s good enough to get you started because that day, the patients, every time we put patients, I’d like, doc, I don’t feel it that much. You know, it’s only little bit I said, that’s fine because we want to see how the body’s going to react the next day, because there’s still inflammation in that area.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

And if it doesn’t like it, it can backfire. So we start out slow and what it does, it slowly, we have four step method with the decompression. It takes four steps to reach to the assigned decompression level. I mean pull, which means if we want to go to 40 to 50 pound pull, the machine will start out with 10 pounds and hold you there for 15 seconds, it’ll go to 20 pounds it’ll hold you there for 15 seconds. So on and so forth until you reach that. And that target pull that we want over there is the actual treatment time, which is anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes, depending on your severity of your injuries. And that’s when your body really relaxes and explains that relieve of pressure. And then once it’s done, just the way you went up, that’s how you’re going to come down. And it’s not just bungee cord release you.

Chris DeBari:

No. In fact, I’ve been on your machine and it’s quite a sophisticated instrument and it does it very gently and to the point where you’re not even aware of it as it incrementally stretches your spine out, its works really well. I know in the beginning, sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error, and then you get it figured out, this is what works. This is how much counterweight or pressure, but it’s an amazing tool and it doesn’t require injections, it doesn’t require scalpels, but it has the ability to give you relief. And at least I’ve personally found those and many of my clients have as well and ones that you’ve treated. So that’s pretty amazing; now, electrical stimulation, that’s something also that’s used to help stimulate blood flow, correct?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Yes. it helps simulate blood flow and it helps reduce inflammation.

Chris DeBari:

So those are a couple of the modalities. Now, as far as chiropractic adjustment what is the role that adjustment plays in all of that?

Dr. Archana Mehta: So adjustments are so important because myself, I look at the whole body as a whole, right? When you go to get massages and you have a active, problem, right? You can go ahead and get massages every day or every week, you’ll get relief. It’s a temporary relief, and then you’re back to square. One same thing with chiropractic. I keep getting adjusted, but I’m not seeing results. Right? I see temporary results, but I’m back to where I am. So I always look at the body as whole. If you’re treating the spine, you got to treat the muscles. If you’re treating the muscles, you got to treat the spine because they’re all connected with each other. If the muscles are imbalanced, it’s going to throw your spine out. Now, if your spine is out of alignment, it’s going to throw your muscles out of alignment. So when we adjust you, and then we also want to put you on therapy because we want to relax those muscles. So, by the time you walk out to the car, you’re not back to where you are.

Chris DeBari:

So, adjustment of the skeleton is necessarily in tandem with some kind of magical therapy for the muscles.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Yes. And when you get adjusted, it helps also alleviate pressure off the nerves too. So it takes the tension out from the muscles and it helps alleviate pressure.

Chris DeBari:

Well, what’s the cracking sound. We hear that scares the hell out of me.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So the cracking sound it’s not the bones itself cracking, but it’s the gases that build up within the joint that releases and creates that. So a lot of time patients like, I didn’t hear the crack, did it really work? I said, it worked. You don’t have to have snap, crack or pop every single time. So some people just make lot of noise and some people adjust. You can feel the mobility in the spine before and after an adjustment, that range of motion is much better. And patient will be like, oh, you know what? I can move my neck better or I could bend forward.

Chris DeBari:

So it’s getting mobility at those levels that’s important. Well, that’s pretty amazing stuff. And I know that you’ve got a couple of locations. Where are you located? Where’s Chiropractic Naturally.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

So original Chiropractic Naturally Home started out in Town and Country. And we are located at the corner of Hillsborough and Sheldon. And then second location is in Carrollwood, right? And Dale Mabry and Fletcher Orange Grove, right within that area.

Chris DeBari:

That’s a great new office. I really think that’s pretty nice. And it’s really close for me.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

We really got blessed with that location a year ago, right before COVID hit. And we were kind of scared. We’re like, oh my God, we just moved into this location. Everybody’s going quarantine. What do we do? And we were able to help patients through the whole year without turning anybody away because we had the space and we were able to keep everybody distanced, socially distanced. So we were blessed, with that location. Okay.

Chris DeBari:

And again, in addition, you don’t treat all by yourself. You’ve got associate physicians as well. Correct?

Dr. Archana Mehta:

I have two other associates. We just had Dr. Ashley joined our team about two weeks ago. And Dr. Yee, who has been with me since she graduated chiropractic school. And she’s, she’s over in Carol Ward, Dr. Ashley helps me run the Town and Country office. So Dr. Ye and I are in Carrollwood four days a week. And then I go to Town and Country two half a day, I mean, two days and work along with Dr. Ashley too.

Chris DeBari:

Well, that’s really great. I do see a decent amount of patients and everyone that I know that has come to you was that nothing but great things to say. And a lot of my motor vehicle clients have been very happy as well, but I think that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been great to have.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Thank you so much for all your support over the years, and allowing me to do this for you

Chris DeBari:

And yours as well. And I know there are a lot of other attorneys that rely on you too, for the good job that you do. But thank you very much and can’t wait to have you out again sometime.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Would love to.

Chris DeBari:

Thank you very much.

Chris DeBari:

Well, everybody just want to tell everybody thank you for tuning in. I hope that that information was helpful, and it’s always enlightening to find out new things and to discuss these very important… This is sort of the kind of thing that most people hear about kind of in passing from time to time. But this is what we live on a day-to-day basis because we see we have my clients who’ve been in accidents in Dr. Mehta has accident patients. It’s a very important thing. Also, thank you everyone for stopping in. I guess my case manager, Janet, Janet Meyer stopped in Diana Koontz she’s a forensic engineer friend of mine, and of course my mother is here. Another Jersey girl for you. But folks, thank you very much. And like I said before, if you liked the information and the content that you’ve heard, feel free to hit the like button and share and comment below. We appreciate your comments and your criticisms, but anyway, thank you all very much. And thank you, Dr. Renner for appearing with us this evening, and I hope you have a great week.

Dr. Archana Mehta:

Thanks, Chris. Thank you everybody.

For more information please call

Chris DeBari

727-656-7852

Or Email

Chris@CDBinjurylaw.com

Chris Debari

Chris Debari

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