Getting involved in an accident can bring major changes in a person’s life. One minute they’re fully functional and the next they have gone through severe trauma that may change their life forever. No matter how the accident occurred (falling, skiing, traveling in a car), those who sustained injuries from it have to deal with different aspects of recovery. One of them is physical therapy.
What is Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is aimed at bringing injured people back up to optimal health via different treatments and exercises. Physiotherapists create specific plans for patients to help them recover and perform routine tasks. While different goals are set by physiotherapists for different patients, a few common goals of the therapy include:
- Increasing the strength, range of motion, flexibility, and endurance of patients
- Preventing the injury from getting worse
- Managing/decreasing pain
- Improving movement and physical function
You might be wondering how these goals are achieved by physiotherapists. While therapists may approach these goals in different ways, they mostly rely on manual therapy and progressive exercises to reach them. For instance, a physiotherapist may start out with stretches and then gradually direct the patient to perform more challenging exercises that are tailored to suit their injury, recovery goals, and limitations. Moreover, manual therapy like joint mobilization and soft-tissue mobilization can help decrease pain, restore motion and reduce swelling.
Accident Injuries That May be Treated with Physical Therapy
Physiotherapists are well-equipped to help patients recover from both minor and serious injuries, but most people visit them because of a chronic (long-term) injury that they suffered in a car, boat, truck or other similar accidents. For example, physiotherapists usually work with people who’re suffering from:
- Hand injuries
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Neck and back pain
- Foot, ankle and knee pain
Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
If a person is experiencing neck pain after an accident and the pain doesn’t get any better after three months, they should get themselves checked by a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist will work with them to help eliminate or decrease their neck pain. They’ll devise a plan to help prevent neck pain from reoccurring. Some common treatments that are offered by physiotherapists to reduce or eliminate neck pain include exercise, traction, postural correction, joint mobilizations, therapeutic modalities like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or ultrasound, and ice and heat.
Physical Therapy for Back Pain
Physical therapy could be the ticket to relief for patients who suffer from back pain after an accident. To reduce and eliminate back pain, a physiotherapist may use cold and hot therapies, TENS, ultrasound and deep tissue massage. Additionally, a physiotherapist may teach different exercises to the patient to improve their flexibility, core stability, range of motion and strength.
Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain
People who develop shoulder pain due to a car accident or fall should immediately seek medical attention. A physiotherapist can evaluate their pain and treat it as necessary. The program of treatment will start with an initial evaluation of the patient. The therapist will ask different questions to assess the nature of the pain. After the evaluation, the treatment will begin. A physiotherapist may use therapeutic modalities like TENS or ultrasound to help control inflammation or pain. The patient may be guided to perform exercises at home to improve the mobility and strength of the shoulder. After a couple of weeks, the patient should notice an improvement in their condition.
Physical Therapy for Knee Pain
If a patient is suffering from knee pain after a car accident, they should immediately visit a physical therapist. The therapist will determine the nature of the pain and diagnose the problem. Several sections are involved in the examination including gait evaluation, palpation and strength measurements. Once the examination is complete, the physiotherapist will devise a treatment plan. Exercise to improve mobility and strengthen the knee may be prescribed by the therapist. Other treatments that they may perform include electric stimulation, ultrasound, application of ice or heat and kinesiology taping.
What Benefits Does Physical Therapy Provide?
Individuals who’re injured in a car accident or any other type of accident are often able to recover from their injury by attending physical therapy. Each patient and each case are different, but the benefits that are commonly associated with this type of therapy include:
People who attend therapy sessions after accidents often recover faster than those who don’t. Additionally, they also achieve better muscle strength and range of motion than those with similar injuries who don’t attend physical therapy.
People who’re injured in accidents may go through physical therapy sessions to eliminate or reduce the pain resulting from whiplash, fractures, disc herniation and other injuries. Manual therapy and therapeutic exercise utilized by physiotherapists often help reduce the pain of patients and allow them to be less dependent on pain medicines.
May Help Avoid a Surgery
Attending physical therapy may allow the patient to avoid surgery altogether. Surgeries sometimes involve lengthy recovery and it should only be considered a last resort.
Can Help Prevent Chronic Pain
Car accident victims often suffer chronic pain long after the incident occurred. Moreover, accident injuries may worsen with time if they aren’t treated. Fortunately, people who’re injured in an accident experience less chronic pain when they attend physical therapy sessions.
Recovering Monetary Compensation
If you’re injured in an accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. You can file a personal injury claim against the person or party responsible for the accident. Physical therapy tends to be expensive. Therefore, you shouldn’t hold back from filing a claim so that you may receive compensation and can pay for your medical bills. In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be compensated for lost wages, medical bills and pain, and suffering.
If you want to file a personal injury claim, hire an experienced attorney from the Shiner Law Group.