If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know the experience can be traumatic both physically and emotionally. From feeling pain and stiffness in your neck and back to having difficulty sleeping or concentrating, dealing with the ramifications of a car accident can be overwhelming.
Luckily, physical therapy can go a long way in addressing these problems. In this month’s blog post, we’ll discuss how hands-on physical therapy can help you get back to your everyday life after being in a car accident.
Reduce or Eliminate Pain and Swelling
When a person gets injured, swelling is one of the body’s natural responses it uses to heal. In order to protect the area from further damage and begin the healing process, the immune system sends white blood cells to the injury, which is what causes the inflammation. Once there, the white blood cells release enzymes that help break down damaged tissue.
This excess blood often causes discomfort, redness, and pain, due to the way it presses on the nerves in the injured area. However, swelling is still beneficial, as is the pain that comes with it. As the body works to heal itself, the accompanying pain encourages you to leave the injury alone, giving your body the opportunity it needs to heal the area without you accidentally injuring it further.
Though this initial swelling is important to the healing process, prolonged inflammation can cause chronic pain, chronic swelling, and even muscle atrophy. Chronic swelling can be particularly damaging, as it causes muscle tissue to become rigid, increasing your chances of reinjury.
Luckily, with the help of a physical therapist and a personalized treatment plan, you can minimize or eliminate your swelling. Moreover, you’ll also be able to reduce your pain and prevent the other issues that can result from it.
Restore Your Functionality
It’s common for people who have been in a car accident to find that they have reduced range of motion in the injured area. For example, you may find it difficult to turn your head from side to side or look up and down if you suffered an injury to your neck. This is often due to the way your muscles, ligaments, and tendons have been damaged or torn in the accident.
In addition to pain and reduced range of motion, you may also find that your strength has been affected. This is because, when you’re injured, your muscles attempt to protect the area from further damage by tightening and contracting, which can lead to weakness. Plus, inactivity after an injury can cause your muscles to weaken, as they’re not being used.
Once again, physical therapy can help. With the help of exercises specifically designed to restore your functionality, you’ll be able to increase your range of motion and strength. In addition, your physical therapist will be able to provide you with guidance on how to perform everyday tasks in a way that doesn’t aggravate your injury.
Avoid Surgery & Worsening Your Injuries
One of the best ways to take care of your injury is by participating in physical therapy. In addition to helping you heal from your injuries, physical therapy will also give you the tools you need to avoid worsening your injury or causing reinjury in the future. For example, your physical therapist will be able to provide you with guidance on how to perform everyday tasks in a way that doesn’t aggravate your injury, like how to pick up objects without putting too much strain on the injured area.
This may help you avoid surgery, as well. In some cases, surgery is necessary to correct an injury. However, in other cases, it may be possible to avoid surgery by participating in physical therapy and following your physical therapist’s guidance. This is because, as we discussed above, physical therapy can help reduce pain and swelling while also restoring your functionality. In most cases, these improvements will be enough to help you get back to your everyday life without the need for surgery.
Reduce Recovery Time
If you’ve been in a car accident and are still dealing with pain, stiffness, and discomfort, it’s time to visit the physical therapists at Performance Unlimited. Living with an untreated injury can be uncomfortable at best and permanently damaging at worst, but by meeting with a qualified physical therapist who cares about you and your recovery, you’ll be able to reduce your pain and swelling, restore your strength, mobility, and balance, stay out of surgery, and ultimately get your control and confidence back.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be daunting, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At , our experienced physical therapists will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. today to get started!