Live Life Physiotherapy

Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

Why do you need physical therapy after a car accident?

Physical therapy, which is known for improving strength, regaining mobility, and reducing pain, can also help to reduce your recovery time and help you get back to the things you love, faster, after a car accident.

Live Life Physiotherapy provides mobile physical therapy services, which can be especially helpful for those who are not comfortable driving due to their physical injuries or mental state after a car accident.

Who benefits from physical therapy after a motor vehicle accident?

Whiplash—where the neck sustains an injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement like the cracking of a whip—is one of the most common injuries after a car accident in which physical therapy can help lessen pain symptoms. However, car accident victims can sustain other injuries that would benefit from physical therapy treatment, such as soft tissue injuries or broken bones.

Common pain symptoms of car accident injuries include:
  • pain and stiffness in the shoulders, neck and/or head
  • loss of range of motion in the neck and/or shoulders
  • headaches or migraine
  • numbness or tingling sensations, especially in your neck, arms, back or legs
  • muscle tightness, especially around the neck, arms, back or legs
  • blurred vision
  • broken bones
  • general fatigue or weakness
  • lingering pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • dizziness

Why is physical therapy important after a car accident?

For some car accident survivors, especially those involved in small fender-benders, physical therapy is not necessary. They can reduce pain with rest, ice, and some light stretching exercises.

However, many survivors of car accidents do not realize how serious their injuries are. The most commonly occurring injuries include pain, stiffness, decreased movement, and chronic headaches or migraines.

The good news is that physical therapy can help with all of these, and speed up the recovery process, too.

By seeing a physical therapist right after a car crash and participating in the recommended strengthening exercises and other non invasive treatment options, many patients can restore function and go back to their normal range of motion, avoiding surgery altogether.

What does physical therapy for a car accident injury include?

Many people undergo physical therapy after an accident because they are dealing with a reduced range of motion, whiplash symptoms, and an inability to perform daily activities.

When you meet with your physical therapist, they will want to hear about your auto accident, understand your symptoms, learn about your overall physical health, and set treatment goals.

Your physical therapist will design a custom treatment plan that will include exercises and stretches to improve mobility, prevent pain, reduce inflammation, increase flexibility, and mitigate long term damage.

Some physical therapists will use techniques such as manual therapy, which can decrease scar tissue; custom exercises, which can address pain and weakness; and postural training, which helps provide long-term relief in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Through consistent treatment sessions, physical therapy can have significant long term effects on helping patients recover and heal their injuries faster.

A woman who would benefit from physical therapy after a car accident.

Frequently asked questions about physical therapy after car accidents

Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) therapy is the term for the specific type of rehabilitation and therapy for the victims of auto accidents.

It’s smart to consider beginning physical therapy sessions as soon as you can after a motor vehicle accident. While people often want to wait and see if their injuries will go away naturally, conditions can often worsen when treatment is delayed, making it harder and more expensive to receive pain relief.

By starting physical therapy soon after the injury occurred, you can help prevent secondary injuries, too.

Yes! It’s never too late to start or benefit from physical therapy, even if your motor vehicle accident was years ago.

Anyone! If you have chronic pain after you were involved in a motor vehicle accident—whether you were the driver or passenger, at fault or not—physical therapy can help.

If you paid for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (Med Pay), your auto insurance will pay for medical bills. Either of these is considered your primary source of medical insurance. Once their benefits are exhausted, you can then use your personal health insurance.

If you do not have PIP or Med Pay, then your health insurance can be used and you will be responsible for your normal deductibles, copays, co-insurances and out of pocket expenses.

Learn more about health insurance and physical therapy costs.

A personal injury lawyer is recommended if you are injured in a car accident. I would recommend the local firm Desantis Law Center. They are a great resource and save you hours of work requesting medical records, reading police reports, medical charts, and communicating with insurance adjusters.

Ready to start physical therapy after your car accident?

If you’re unable to drive to a physical therapist, we’ve got your back!

Live Life Physiotherapy provides mobile physical therapy services across San Diego County. While we specialize in East County, including Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon, La Mesa, San Carlos and Del Cerro, we will travel anywhere in San Diego County to help you return to your pain-free life as soon as possible.

If you are ready to try physical therapy after a motor vehicle accident and live life on your terms, contact us today!

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