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Proper Treatment for Auto Injuries


Whiplash Auto Injuries

The most common injury from an auto accident is Whiplash Injury.  Since there is usually no visible injury and the initial pain may not be severe, people do not always seek professional help.  This can be a big mistake.

Treatment for Auto Injury

Initial medical treatment for the typical auto injury usually consists of pain killers and a neck brace.  However, this approach may do very little to repair the underlying injury.  Once severe trauma has been ruled out, a gentle course of physical therapy is effective for repair and strengthening of damaged tissue and for avoiding excessive scar tissue adhesions.   Regardless of the severity of the injury, you may benefit from a formal physical therapy program which will allow for a speedier recovery.

When To Start Treatment

It is highly recommended to begin physical therapy within 3-5 days following an auto accident.  Treatment will be initiated to control pain and diminish swelling.  Small movements are introduced to begin your tissue’s repair process.

If pain or dysfunction remains, advanced physical therapy can help.  Most connective tissue injuries are quite slow to heal.  Physical therapy is beneficial in helping to move along the recovery and allow you to return to full function.  Failure to receive proper treatment after an auto injury could potentially result in long-term health issues. In a study of 100 people who were rear-ended, 14% of people still had significant pain after 8 years. In addition to neck and back pain, you may experience headaches, dizziness, numbness, vision problems, and difficulty concentrating.  You may also have a higher risk of degenerative disc disease later in life.  That is why it is important to seek medical attention promptly and be compliant with your treatment.

Long Term Symptoms of Whiplash Injury

Nationwide, an estimated 1/3 of people who suffer whiplash injuries continue to have symptoms even three years after their accidents. Common complaints include neck pain, shoulder symptoms, headaches, problems with vision, dizziness, difficulty reading, and problems with concentration. Whiplash often damages the neurological systems that control balance and how your eyes move (the oculomotor and vestibular systems). Research shows that people who do not recover quickly from whiplash often have some damage to these systems.

Physical Therapy for Auto Accident & Whiplash Injuries

When treating muscles, joints, and nerves it is important to keep in mind that the results of whiplash rehabilitation are best when the rehabilitation starts within a week or two of the injury.   For patients that have suffered with symptoms for a long time it is better to start treatment sooner than later.  It is possible to make good progress with a thorough rehabilitation protocol. The rehabilitation approach should  utilitize a combination of hands-on therapy including mobilization, modalities (ultrasound and E-stim), strengthening, stretching, and therapeutic exercises.

Learn more about Whiplash Injuries by clicking HERE.

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For any questions or concerns call Emery Physical Therapy today at 847-786-2014.  Emery Physical Therapy has provided out-patient orthopedic and sports physical therapy for 18 years in Mt. Prospect (at Elmhurst Rd and Oakton).