17 Dec Physical Therapy After A Car Accident
Injuries from car accidents range from mild to severe. If you’ve experienced a car crash injury, working with a physical therapist can reduce pain, improve mobility and restore full function. Physical therapy can reduce your reliance on painkillers and lessen the risk of having chronic pain.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you might have an obvious injury. But some people don’t feel hurt at the time of the crash and develop soreness later. You should consider visiting a doctor immediately after a car accident. Even if you don’t feel pain right away, you might want to be assessed by a professional. If you have whiplash or another injury caused by the car accident, physical therapy can help you fully recover.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 20 to 50 million people are injured in car crashes each year. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash.
Whiplash is only one type of injury that results from a rear-end collision. Any type of car crash can produce a neck or back injury, including spinal cord damage, strains, sprains and herniated discs.
Soft tissue injuries are also common. Pain can develop when muscles and soft tissues are torn during an accident.
These types of injuries may not be evident right away. It can take days for you to realize that your neck or back hurts.
Other kinds of injuries are immediately obvious. If you have a broken bone, you may lose mobility right away and experience excruciating pain. Spinal cord injuries can cause you to lose sensation or movement in parts of your body.
Some symptoms that may indicate that you’ve suffered a car accident injury include:
• Stiffness and pain in the neck, shoulders and head
• Difficulty moving the head up and down or turning it to the side
• Tingling or loss of sensation in the extremities
• Blurred vision
• Problems with memory and concentration
Reasons to Undergo Physical Therapy After a Car Accident
Getting immediate attention following a car accident can help you assess the damage. Working with a physical therapist can speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of long-term damage and chronic pain.
Physical therapy promotes recovery. Our therapists will use acute treatments to get you through the initial phase of your injury. You’ll learn what you can do at home to promote healing, reduce inflammation and keep pain to a minimum.
Once you are cleared for some movement, physical therapy can reduce stiffness, increase flexibility and improve range of motion. When you work with a physical therapist, you’ll be in a safe environment and avoid performing movements that exacerbate your condition. You’ll work to strengthen muscles that have weakened and restore balance.
Physical therapy may also reduce long-term damage. Some car crash injuries, such as whiplash, can lead to pain in other areas of the body. The sooner you start physical therapy after the accident, the better your chances of enduring a lasting recovery will be.
Some chronic pain that follows a car accident may be generated by psychological trauma. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that improve your mood and help relieve pain. However, you might not want to get active without the guidance of a professional. Working with a physical therapist enhances your ability to exercise and may boost your mental health.
Moreover, physical therapy can help you manage pain without resorting to painkillers. You’ll work with your body’s own mechanisms to reduce discomfort and improve mobility. You might even be able to avoid surgery if you begin working with a physical therapist right away.
Does Physical Therapy Help Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of neck sprain or strain. It happens when the head moves back and forth powerfully and quickly. Rear-end collisions are likely to cause whiplash.
If you have this condition, the symptoms might take a few days to show up. When they do, you may experience stiffness and pain in your neck. Many people with whiplash say that the pain gets worse when they move their neck. They might also have headaches, soreness in the arms or shoulders and prickling or numbness in the arms.
People with whiplash should seek physical therapy treatment to reduce pain, restore range of motion and resume normal function. Physical therapy can prevent further injury.
Some of the approaches that we may use to treat whiplash include:
• Moist heat
• Gentle stretching
• Therapeutic exercises
• Electrical stimulation
• Manual therapy
• Postural correction
• Body mechanics training
Undergoing physical therapy for whiplash can reduce the chances that you’ll have to endure chronic pain and it will also enhance your function whether you’re working, driving or playing.
Can Physical Therapy Treat Old Car Accident Injuries?
Some people don’t get treatment for car accident injuries right away. Others have lingering pain long after the accident occurred. It may be worth it to seek physical therapy even if the injury happened months or years ago.
When you’re injured, you tend to manage the pain by using other muscles to overcompensate. This can create an imbalance and leave you hurting for years. The goal of physical therapy is to restore full function in your body. Our team can evaluate you and identify the source of the problem so that we can get you back to your old self.