Why Is Physical Therapy Important After a Car Accident?
Car accident injuries can take a toll on your health and involve mild to severe pain. Whether your primary care physician recommends you go to physical therapy, or you decide to consult a provider on your own, this type of medical care can play an active role in your healing process.
Physical therapists can use manual therapy to:
- Mobilize joints
- Reduce inflammation
- Stimulate your body’s natural healing process
- Strengthen muscles
They also use a wide range of exercises and stretches, including some you must do at home in between appointments, to address neck pains and other aches you are experiencing as a result of your auto accident injury.
Whiplash and Other Common Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause a wide range of injuries, including headaches, back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pains. However, whiplash is often the main medical consequence of an auto accident. This injury happens when your next extends beyond its normal range of motion.
Whiplash symptoms include:
- Pain in your neck and shoulders
- Chronic headaches
- Difficulty focusing
- Numbness in your upper body and extremities
- Reduced range of motion in your neck
Whiplash can also negatively affect your sleep and result in a general sense of weakness. Left untreated, it can have long-term consequences for your mobility and pain levels.
PT Can Accelerate Your Recovery
Attending physical therapy after a car accident injury can promote effective and quicker recovery. Your treatment plan typically involves two visits to your physical therapist every week, and the overall treatment cycle may require several weeks or months depending on the severity of your injury.
PT is effective to treat many auto accident injuries that affect soft tissues, joints, back, muscles, or ligaments. Your provider carefully evaluates your progress to stimulate your body’s natural healing process. This can help you perform your everyday tasks more comfortably and safely in a short timeframe.
Some symptoms caused by your car accident may not appear right away. Going to physical therapy consistently helps your provider address any change right away and modify your treatment to get you to full recovery.
PT Can Restore Your Range of Motion
The pain and stiffness associated with an auto accident injury can severely limit your range of motion. Restoring it is an important aspect of your recovery, and physical therapy can make a positive difference.
If you suffer from whiplash, turning your head can prevent you from simply turning your head as you would normally do without thinking about it. When you see a physical therapist shortly after your accident, they can help restore your range of motion and avoid your pain and injury from getting worse or becoming a chronic medical concern.
PT Can Prevent Long-Term Damage
Your body’s natural healing capabilities are effective and an important part of your recovery, but physical therapy can ensure that your body heals properly to avoid internal scarring due to damaged ligaments or muscles. This can help prevent chronic pain or headaches too.
Thanks to your physical therapist’s guidance and their close monitoring, they can help strengthen your muscles and other tissues. In addition to treating the immediate injuries, PT promotes lasting health. The customized aspect of physical therapy is key to meeting your specific needs and ensuring that your body repairs itself optimally.
PT Can Reduce Pain
Using painkillers after a car accident is common as symptoms can be mild to severe depending on your injury. Physical therapy can help manage your pain and reduce your reliance on pain medication. While physical activity may seem daunting due to pain, your provider chooses exercises to your current limitations and gradually adjust them as you progress.
One of the key benefits of PT exercises is how it restores blood flow into the targeted area, which can stimulate your body’s natural healing process. The stretches involved in both in-office and at-home PT also help reintroduce movement into the injured area. As you rebuild strength and mobility, your pain naturally decreases.
PT Can Prevent Surgery or Support Post-Op Rehabilitation
Physical therapy can address musculoskeletal and soft tissues issues, which may help you avoid undergoing surgery. Your customized treatment can preserve your body’s structures and help you regain adequate mobility, balance, and flexibility. Timely and continuous PT care can support your spinal and general health with lasting results if you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you need surgery, physical therapy can still be an important part of your medical care. Your physician or surgeon may recommend you attend physical therapy in the weeks leading up to your procedure to ensure that your injury does not get worse. PT can then be part of your rehabilitation process with all the aforementioned benefits.
If you need a physical therapist after a car accident in Monmouth or Middlesex County, contact ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 to schedule an appointment!