Benefits of Physical Therapy For Car Accident Victims

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the United States every year, with over 2.5 million of those accidents involving a rear-end collision.

As the most common type of car accident, it can cause a neck injury known as “whiplash,” which occurs when the neck is forced to move outside of its normal range of motion. Because of this, patients may experience:

  • Head, neck, and shoulder pain and stiffness
  • A decrease in neck mobility
  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Headaches or migraines that persist over an extended period
  • Upper extremity tingling and numbness
  • Dizziness and exhaustion
  • Blurred eyesight and memory issues

Whiplash injury symptoms may not manifest themselves right away, making it important for patients to seek medical attention as soon as possible to have their physical wellness evaluated. Long-term consequences of delaying treatment include chronic pain, mobility issues, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Physical therapists can help you get back on your feet after a car accident.

Should I Seek Treatment from a Physical Therapist Following a Car Accident?

Are you unsure whether you should focus on finding physical therapy treatment after being involved in a car accident? In short, yes, you should absolutely consider visiting a physical therapist following a car accident. Patients who have been in a car accident should see a physical therapist for the following reasons.

1) Physical Therapy Aids in the Healing Process Following a Car Accident

A patient may not be aware of the extent of his or her car accident injuries for some time after the incident has occurred and they’ve returned to normal activities. Pain, joint pain, reduced functional mobility, and severe headaches or migraines are among the most common injuries.

As a result, physical therapy is vital to the recovery process for patients. Physical therapy can help car accident victims build strength, flexibility, and avert pain by enhancing their range of motion. Injured patients can get back on their feet quickly and easily thanks to tailored therapy regimens!

2) Physical Therapy Can Help Prevent Long-Term Damage Following an Auto Accident

Physical therapy can not only help with immediate injuries, but it can also help prevent long-term damage, such as chronic pain and migraines. Injuries sustained in a car accident can have a long-term impact if they are not treated quickly. Getting started with physical therapy as soon as possible after an accident increases your chances of having a pain-free life for many years to come.

According to a Medscape study, patients who did not receive treatment right away after a car accident had a much higher risk of developing degenerative disc disease than those who did.

3) Exercising Regularly Helps to Prevent and Treat Pain

Even though moving around after a car accident may be the last thing you want to do, being fit and active can reduce pain and help you regain strength from your physical injury. When you move, your body pumps blood, oxygen and other essential minerals to the injured area, which assists the body in its healing process.

Pain points and poor body mechanics can be addressed through the development of customized treatment plans. In order to improve mobility and function, each exercise or stretch must have a specific goal in mind. More and more function is being regained, and the patient is one step closer to recovery.

4) Physical Therapy Improves Mental Health

It is possible to sustain injuries in a car accident that are both physically and psychologically debilitating. Physical therapy can help you improve your mental health by uplifting your mood and changing your outlook on life. With a more positive outlook, you are more emotionally stable, which allows you to concentrate on the recovery process and return to a “normal” life more effectively and efficiently.

As mentioned earlier in this article, you may experience PTSD following a car accident, which is completely normal. This may make you not want to travel in an automobile, or travel any way other than walking.

While you can receive care elsewhere for mental health problems following a car accident, seeing a physical therapist will help reduce your pain and help with that “normality”, therefore raising your self-esteem and your confidence to get back into a car.

5) Physical Therapy May Reduce Surgical Needs

Even if your injuries aren’t life threatening, see a doctor as soon as possible if you’ve been in a serious car accident. Combined with normal wear and tear, a car accident injury may require surgery later in life. Those who don’t seek treatment to avert future complications are particularly at risk.

Physical therapy helps to strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are vulnerable to injury, therefore protecting various structures all over the body. Surgery is a more time-consuming and expensive option for treating your pain, whereas physical therapy is much less time-consuming and expensive.

6) Physical Therapy Can Help Older Car Accident Patients Regain Function

If you haven’t been in a car accident recently but were involved in one in the past, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that you will benefit from physical therapy. In fact, physical therapy can aid in the restoration of function and manoeuvrability in patients who have sustained injuries in a car accident in the past.

Physical therapy can help patients lead as pain-free a life as possible by employing a variety of strength training and cardiovascular rehabilitation techniques. It is a safe, non-invasive treatment that does not necessitate the use of opioid pain medications in order to provide relief from pain.

As you can see, there are several benefits of physical therapy if you’ve been in a car accident. Book an appointment today to begin your recovery process.