Auto & Personal Injury Rehab
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, and of those 6 million, over 2.5 million car accidents are rear-end collisions. This type of car accident is the most common and can cause an injury called “whiplash,” which occurs when the neck extends beyond its normal range of motion. As a result, patients may develop the following symptoms:
- Pain and stiffness in the head, neck, and shoulders
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Chronic migraines or headaches
- Tingling and numbness in the upper extremities
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Occasionally, blurred vision and memory problems
Whiplash injury symptoms may not surface right away, so it’s imperative patients seek immediate medical attention to have their physical health evaluated. Prolonging treatment could result in long-term damage, like chronic pain, reduced mobility, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, the team at Emery Physical Therapy is here to ensure you experience a complete recovery after your car accident.
Here are the top 5 reasons patients should seek the care of a physical therapist after their automobile accident:
Support The Recovery Process
Patients often don’t realize how bad their car accident-related injuries are until after they’ve returned to their normal daily activities. Common injuries typically include pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion, and chronic headaches or migraines. As such, it’s important patients undergo physical therapy to aid the recovery process. Physical therapy can help car accident victims increase their strength, improve their flexibility, and subsequently keep pain symptoms at bay. Our specially-designed therapy regimens can help patients bounce back from their injuries faster and easier than staying in bed can, that’s for sure!
Prevent Long-Term Damage
As we alluded to in the previously post, physical therapy not only helps address immediate injuries by improving strength, flexibility, and mobility, but it can also prevent long-term damage like chronic pain and migraines. Unfortunately, car accidents can cause lingering damage if the patient’s injuries are not addressed right away. If you begin physical therapy immediately after your accident, you are much more likely to live a relatively pain-free life for years and years to come. In fact, a Medscape study found patients who did not receive care immediately after their car accident were far more likely to suffer from degenerative disc disease than those who did receive immediate medical attention.
Being Physically Active Helps Reduce Pain
While moving around may sound like the last thing you need to do after a car accident, being physically active can actually help reduce pain and help you recover from your injuries much quicker than bed rest. Movement pumps oxygenated blood and other nutrients to the injury site, which helps the body heal itself. At Emery Physical Therapy, our specialists create unique, individualized programs to help patient’s address pain points and poor body mechanics. Every exercise or stretch that’s performed has a specific purpose and a goal to improve mobility and function. As the patient regains more and more function, he or she is that much closer to a balanced and complete recovery.
Physical Therapy May Help Patients Avoid Surgery
While serious car accident injuries will likely need surgery right away, non-life-threatening injuries are not exactly exempt from surgery altogether. In fact, a car accident injury, combined with natural wear and tear, may require the need for surgery later in life. This is especially true for patients who don’t seek some type of treatment to avoid these complications down the road. Physical therapy helps strengthen vulnerable muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which in turn, helps protect various structures throughout the body. Plus, it’s safe to assume that physical therapy is a much more cost-effective solution for treating your pain, and it doesn’t require the downtime that is needed for surgery.
Restore Function In Patients With Old Car Accident Injuries
If you haven’t been in a car accident recently but were in one nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from physical therapy. In fact, physical therapy can help restore function and mobility in patients with old car accident injuries. Using various strength training exercises and cardiovascular rehabilitation techniques, patients can achieve as close to a pain-free lifestyle as possible through physical therapy. Moreover, patients can rest assured knowing physical therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment that does not require the use of opioid pain medications for relief.
Don’t delay any longer! If you’re experiencing pain from a new or old car accident injury, call Emery Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment. Or, visit the “Request and Appt.” tab on the website! We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your road to recovery.
What kinds of auto and personal injuries do physical therapists treat?
It’s something that anyone who’s ever fallen or been in a motor vehicle accident knows all too well: That life-saving trip to the emergency room is often only the first step in the long road to recovery. Injuries from falls and car accidents can impact your life for months or years after the initial incidents.
Among the injuries for which patients often seek physical therapy are fractures, whiplash, knee damage, torn rotator cuffs, crushed hands, cracked ribs and damaged lungs — as well as traumatic brain injury, nervous system disorders, stress disorder and nonspecific pain.
Is there more than one kind of physical therapy available after a crash?
Physical therapy isn’t just for whiplash or broken bones. There are several categories of crash injuries for which the treatment can be helpful.
One such sub-specialty is called cardiovascular therapy, but for accident victims, it is often related more to the pulmonary system than the heart. Bruised and cracked ribs can interfere with lung capacity, so improving breathing function is essential.
Physical therapists can also provide neurological therapy for people who suffered from traumatic brain injuries as a result of their car accident. Brain trauma can affect balance, strength and the sense of touch, among other serious problems. Physical therapy is often key to improving these conditions after the accident.
Of course, orthopedic damage to the neck, back, knees and shoulders is also helped by traditional orthopedic physical therapy. PT for these injuries typically includes specialized exercises and gentle, targeted soft tissue mobilizaiton and specific use of modalities.
Why is it important to start physical therapy as soon as possible?
Depending on your injury, scar tissue can build up along injured muscles, tendons and joints — making the recovery process that much longer if you don’t work on it as soon as possible. PT also helps you avoid “teaching” your body bad habits to make up for your injuries, such as potentially throwing your spine out of alignment because you’re favoring an aching hip.
Finally, any insurance or legal claims you may be seeking will need proper documentation in order to prove the duration needed for medical and physical therapy treatment.
Our team of dedicated professionals can help you with all of these issues, by working with you to determine the scope of physical therapy care that you need, as well as providing any needed professional documentation. Call us today for an appointment, so that you can begin recovery from your injury or motor vehicle accident as soon as possible.
Learn more about Proper Treatment for Auto Injuries by clicking below: