When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you probably want to know what kind of recovery time you are in for. Sometimes you may need physical therapy to help you fully recover and get back on your feet after a car accident. Your chiropractor in Atlanta may recommend physical therapy in tandem with your treatment.
Here are three things to consider when you are going to physical therapy after a car accident:
1. The Type of Injury
As you might guess, the type of car accident injury you have can affect your treatment and recovery time. One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash. A whiplash injury occurs when the force of the accident causes your head and neck to jolt violently forward and backward. This can cause the muscles and tendons in your neck to stretch outside their normal range of motion. Whiplash can also affect your spinal column in your neck and disc injuries can be serious. Depending on the severity of your whiplash, it can take a few months to fully recover and return to your previous range of motion in your neck and back.
2. The Severity of the Accident
Even the smallest car accident can cause injuries like whiplash, so you should always talk to your chiropractor in Atlanta and undergo a physical examination to look for any hidden injuries that could cause pain and discomfort if left untreated. However, you are more likely to sustain a moderate to severe injury in a more serious car accident. The force of a more severe accident can cause significant harm to your body even if you are properly wearing your seatbelt and the airbag deploys. More serious injuries like a dislocated knee or a broken foot can impact your daily routines for months.
3. Any Previous Injuries
Something that may not be so obvious is how any previous injuries may affect your healing process when you get a new injury in a car accident. A previous injury can leave behind scar tissue, which can impact how your body heals the new injury. Physical therapy may take longer if you have previous injuries, especially if they occur in the same area. Your physical therapist and chiropractor in Atlanta may also want to address the previous injury if anything was left unresolved along with treating your new injury.
How Physical Therapy Helps Car Accident Victims
It Helps Your Recovery Process
Some injuries don’t heal automatically and have you right back to your normal routine. In fact, many injuries can cause pain and discomfort during the healing and recovery process and physical therapy can help with this. A physical therapist can help with injuries from a car accident that affect your range of motion or cause discomfort with everyday tasks. One goal of physical therapy is to support your recovery by helping your body regain its range of motion and get back to your daily activities.
It Helps Reduce Your Pain
Another goal of physical therapy is to help reduce the pain and discomfort you are feeling after a car accident injury. Continuing to move your body and strengthen your muscles can help you heal and recover quicker than if you were to not move around as much. A lack of physical activity when recovering from an injury can actually cause stiffness, which can lead to more discomfort when trying to return to your daily activities.
It Helps Prevent Long-Term Damage
When you work with a physical therapist after a car accident, the goals for treatment will involve both treating the immediate injury as well as preventing future injuries. When you are going through exercises to help with strength and flexibility after an accident, these activities help you to heal and recover. But these activities are also there to train your body to support itself stronger.
It Helps Avoid Surgery
The last thing you want is to hear that you need surgery to fix a serious injury. Surgery can require an even longer recovery period and is often very hard on the body. Physical therapy can help you avoid surgery by focusing on strengthening specific muscles, tendons, and ligaments that can help support and protect other parts of your body. Physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, and other orthopedic treatment options are generally more cost-effective and require less recovery time than surgery.
The most important aspect of your care is making sure your physical therapist and chiropractor in Atlanta are working together to provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan that is specific to your injuries, your body, and your medical history. At AICA Orthopedics, your multi-specialty team of treatment providers will provide you with an individualized treatment plan to help you heal and recover as swiftly and safely as possible. Call us today!