Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Benefits of Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

The Benefits of Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

For quality physical therapy after car accidents and more in New York and New Jersey, residents trust No-Fault Doctors. Call us today!

The benefits of physical therapy are plentiful, and with the national car accident figures continuing to climb, that’s great news. Did you know that, in 2021 alone, the National Safety Council reported the United States experienced nearly 5.5 million motor vehicle accidents? These collisions were serious enough to warrant medical attention for the drivers or passengers. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports over 2.5 million sustained injuries due to auto collisions in that same year. While serious medical attention follows these types of events, physical therapy can aid in recovery in the weeks and months that follow.

No-Fault Doctors know what it takes to help car accident patients regain their physical functions and quality of life after an accident. Here, our team outlines the benefits of incorporating physical therapy into your treatment plans, particularly if you’re suffering from car collision-related injuries.

Common Auto Collision Injuries That Warrant Physical Therapy

Car accident injuries take myriad forms. You could hurt yourself as a driver or passenger due to the impact of the collision or cuts from broken window glass. You could also hit your head, smash a wrist on the dashboard, or slam your good knee into the seat or console in front of you.

With endless ways to hurt yourself during a collision, there are still some commonalities among vehicle accident injuries. Physical therapists specializing in treating car accident patients see many of the same types of injuries, though in varying stages of severity. 

For example, the most common injuries physical therapists treat include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain or whiplash
  • Soft tissue injuries like muscle strains
  • Joint damage
  • Concussions
  • Broken bones

It’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident, even if you don’t feel pain or exhibit other symptoms from an obvious injury. After you’re stable and starting to heal, your primary care physician may discuss the many benefits of physical therapy with you or suggest you add this therapy to your treatment plan.

Top Physical Therapist Benefits for Car Accident Injuries

Reduce the Risk of Chronic Conditions

According to the World Health Organization, roughly 2.4 billion people have a condition requiring some form of rehabilitation that includes physical therapy. You might not realize you have an injury after an accident until days or weeks after the event. Even minor collisions could have a major impact on your body, and they won’t go away on their own.

Sometimes, knee, neck, back, and shoulder pain persist for months or years. Without treatment, you’ll likely feel substantial pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Seeking physical therapy services soon after an accident reduces that risk, ensuring you don’t develop chronic pain conditions that take longer to heal (if they heal at all).

Minimize Pain

It’s no surprise that a car accident will leave you feeling pain or considerable discomfort. Though you might want to lay in bed for a few days or weeks, it’s usually helpful to move. One 2017 study in the Journal of Physiology showed that a single round of exercise with a chronic pain condition can worsen the pain, but regular exercise can help alleviate acute and chronic pain. 

When you work with an experienced physical therapist, your car accident recovery is easier. You’ll engage in safe, strategic physical activities with a professional who can keep you moving without doing more damage. The process benefits the body in the following ways:

  • You participate in various exercises. 
  • Your heart will pump more oxygen-rich blood to your injury site.
  • Your system will transport much-needed nutrients to the area.
  • Your increased circulation will then stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Everything the physical therapist asks you to do will target your injury to promote recovery. Though rest is essential for healing, targeted movement is, too. It’s the only way to encourage healing while improving your mobility and physical functions. 

Speed Up Your Recovery Time

No one wants to wait forever to heal from a car accident injury. The quicker you recover, the faster you can get back to your life. Thankfully, for many people, including physical therapy in their post-accident treatment plans means a faster recovery than just medical care or medication. 

When you work with a physical therapist from the start, you’ll know more about the severity of your condition and what you must do daily to improve it. From stretches to targeted exercises, physical therapy’s techniques engage muscles, connective tissues, and joints to help you avoid stiffness and minimize pain. Your body gets a natural boost in its healing power, and you get the benefits of physical therapy at your fingertips.

Potentially Avoid Invasive Procedures

Minor injuries could quickly become a serious condition unless you seek the right care. For example, if your car accident injury includes a small shoulder ligament tear, your primary care physician may recommend the RICE method to help the connective tissue heal. However, the tear could worsen if you don’t seek medical attention or follow your doctor’s advice. 

Unfortunately, fixing a worsening ligament tear may require surgery, which is invasive and has a longer recovery period. Surgery also leaves you vulnerable to infections, scarring, and other potential complications, including potentially addictive pain medications. Still, depending on the type of injury the auto collision causes, you might be able to avoid surgical intervention by participating in physical therapy. 

Improve Mobility and Function

The exercises and activities a physical therapist assigns you will help strengthen vulnerable muscles, ligaments, and tissues while protecting other essential structures throughout your body. Do you have an old injury from a car accident that still bothers you? Your physical therapist will assess your pain and symptoms to diagnose your condition and start creating a treatment plan.

That physical therapy treatment plan will always aim to help you regain your mobility and work toward full function. For instance, some of the best methods for boosting function and mobility are targeted strength training exercises. The therapist may also recommend some cardiac rehabilitation techniques such as stretching, resistance band work, or water aerobics.

Boost Your Strength

Sometimes, an injury must be immobile to heal, particularly if you have an arm or leg cast. Your affected body part will weaken without constant use, though. In this case, physical therapy will aim to strengthen your muscles so that you feel relief and reduce the risk of re-injury.

Physical Therapy Can Enhance Your Quality of Life

Being in a car accident can be traumatizing to your physical and mental well-being. If you are unaware you have an injury or choose to ignore how you feel, you could do yourself harm. If that’s the case, living with pain and discomfort after an auto collision can seriously impact your quality of life, leaving you unable to enjoy things you love or full use of a pain-free body. 

Why not let physical therapy help you address these problems before they become major health concerns? The personalized care you receive will improve how your body moves and feels to keep you looking ahead with confidence.

Start Your Journey to Recovery With NNo-Fault Doctors

Have you experienced an injury after an accident or another physical trauma? The no-fault doctors listed in our directory offer the benefits of physical therapy and other holistic therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care. These licensed therapists strive to improve the lives of patients through personalized care and comprehensive treatment plans.

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available, so call (888) 970-5065 today!

Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Therapy

What Does Physical Therapy Involve?

Physical therapy involves helping patients improve their range of motion, flexibility, and strength to relieve pain from injuries.

What Questions Should You Ask a Physical Therapist During Your First Appointment?

Great questions you should ask a physical therapist during your first appointment include the following:

  • Do you have experience in treating similar conditions or injuries?
  • What type of physical therapy works best for this injury?
  • How many sessions may be necessary to produce the best results?

Does Physical Therapy Hurt?

Physical therapy shouldn’t hurt or make things worse. Any momentary twinge aims to ease your pain over time. 

Like exercise, you might feel some soreness during the first few days due to lactic acid buildup in your muscles as they work. Icing sore muscles after therapy can relieve this type of discomfort. 

Can Physical Therapy After Car Accidents Help?

Yes, the benefits of physical therapy apply after car accidents and any other trauma event your body goes through. The service helps people with injuries and even degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapy engages your muscles to boost mobility and physical function, improves your range of motion, and boosts your quality of life.