Physical Therapy After Car Accident

Sep 14, 2022

Gil Uy

by Gil Uy
PT, DPT. Gil is a board-certified physical therapist who specializes in manual therapy. Gil empowers his patients to be able to play sports, work, and walk again.

Returning to your everyday life and daily routines after a car accident is arduous. The recovery process is not only excruciating and long but also requires you to have enough mental and physical strength. The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released some worrying statistics about car crashes in the United States.

According to the NHTSA report, about 6 million car accidents occur in the US annually, and over 2.5 million accidents occur due to rear-end collisions. At least 3 million people sustain injuries from these accidents, with about 2 million sustaining permanent injuries. Rear-end collision mainly results in a condition known as “whiplash,” which occurs when a person’s neck moves beyond its normal range of motion. The most common symptoms of Whiplash include:

  • Limited range of motion in the neck.
  • Stiffness and pain in the shoulder, neck, and head.
  • Dizziness and fatigue.
  • Chronic headaches and migraines.
  • Memory problems and blurred vision.
  • Tingling and numbness in upper extremities.

Whiplash symptoms can worsen if not addressed promptly; therefore, one needs to consult their doctor and start physical therapy sessions immediately. Below are some benefits you get from attending physical therapy sessions after a car accident.

Phsycial therapist helping patient with neck pain.

1. Prompt Recovery

The recovery process following a car accident can take longer than usual if one does not receive the proper treatment and care. Due to the fear of taking long to resume one’s daily routines and schedules, one might be tempted to move quickly, resulting in more injuries in the process. However, with the help of a Physical therapist, you can improve your range of motion and strengthen your muscles and joints through various exercises recommended. Your physical therapist will determine which stretches and workouts can catalyze your recovery. Prompt recovery helps you resume your daily routine and avoid losing your job or sources of income.

2. Reduce Pain Symptoms

Chronic pain can prevent a person from working or enjoying quality time with their family as it occasionally leads to disability. Chronic pain symptoms are developed after one fails to seek physical health evaluation from their doctor after an accident. Attending physical therapy consistently eases pain symptoms by improving the mobility of soft tissues and joints and restoring muscle function. Exercise and movement have been identified as the surest ways of streamlining the healing process after a car accident, and an experienced physical therapist will provide the best techniques. Relying on some painkillers to ease pain symptoms is addictive and dangerous for one’s health.

3. Increase Your Strength

After a car accident, it is good practice to visit an experienced physical therapist who will help you enhance the strength of the injured side of your body. Strengthening the wounded side of the body is crucial in avoiding re-injury of the same body part. Strengthening the muscles of the areas surrounding the injury is also essential for prompt resumption of one’s daily routines and work. In the case of a neck injury, an experienced physical therapist will develop an elaborate treatment plan that strengthens the muscles supporting your neck and head to quicken the recovery of your vertebrae.

Physical therapist helping patient with exercises.

4. Restoration of Range of Motion

A car accident often results in a neck injury that causes discomfort and pain when one tries to turn their neck from side to side. Since one of the main goals of physical therapy is restoration and improvement of motion, your physical therapist will determine the workouts that will help you restore the range of motion in your neck to ease the pain and discomfort.

5. Long-term Prevention

According to a study by Medscape, patients who don’t receive immediate care are more likely to suffer from Degenerative Disc Disorder than those who receive care after a car accident. Pain symptoms from a car accident can persist if one does not heal properly due to a lack of proper maintenance. Fortunately, a physical therapist can help avoid further injuries or future injuries to the injured body parts by recommending appropriate stretches and workouts.

Physical therapist helping patient with lower back pain.

6. Avoid Surgery

Physical therapy is critical for strengthening the vulnerable tendons, muscles, and ligaments that could help one avoid surgical complications. Physical therapy in improving overall strength and reducing pain symptoms can reduce inflammation which can be costly to remove through surgeries. Physical therapy also protects body structures that could deteriorate with time and immediate surgery. Therefore, physical therapy is a cost-effective recovery option that one should consider following an accident.

7. Evidence for A Lawsuit

One needs solid proof and evidence if they are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim following a car accident. An individual might struggle to prove how an accident impacted the quality of their life if a physical therapist has not evaluated them. Visiting a physical therapist can help them establish how the car accident impacted their lives. From the physical therapist report, one can support their lawsuit, confirm that an accident affected their health and mobility, and receive an appropriate settlement.

Schedule your PT Appointment Today

Do not delay seeking medical attention after getting involved in a car accident. Contact to schedule your PT appointment or visit to learn more about our services.

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