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Injured in a car accident? Seek help from a physical therapist

Have you recently been in a car accident? Are you stressing about car damage or are you feeling pain and discomfort due to this accident. The most common form of accident induced injuries is “whiplash”. Whiplash is an injury caused by a severe jerk to the head. People do not always seek professional help as the injury is not visible and pain may occur a few days after the initial accident. Failure to seek treatment for car related injuries can result in long term health issues and seeking a physical therapist may be beneficial for cases related to car accidents.

Your primary care physician may prescribe you with pain medication. The problem with this method is that pain medications will only subside the pain temporarily by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain and altering your brain's sense of pain. Pain medication is something like a distraction to the brain so that pain is altered or not felt. Physical therapy, on the other hand, is the best method for repairing and strengthening damaged tissues that may develop scar growth. Receiving physical therapy after a car accident is a better choice for recovery as it promotes healing, restores function, and improves strength and stability while decreasing pain. A physical therapist can assist you and create your own personal treatment plan dependent of your needs regardless of the severity of your injury.

An alternative option to pain medication is an increase in physical activity. This may sound a little bizarre as you would assume that more movement would put more strain on the injured area, but being inactive and laying in bed and resting until the pain goes away can do more harm than good. The pain can be intense at first but soon after you will start to return to normal. If you have not suffered from whiplash, but have back or spinal pain, a physical therapist can also help. A physical therapist will start with therapies such as heat or ice packs and will then work you up to more difficult tasks such as stretching and strengthening exercises. Everything is done in steps as you must crawl before you walk. Critical situations may call for surgery, which should always be a last resort, but physical therapy has proven to be a great alternative to pain medications and lengthy surgical procedures.

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