If you’ve been involved in a car accident recently, you should watch out for these five signs you need physical therapy.
Car accident injuries can range from mild soreness the next day to severe damage to your body that requires emergency medical care.
Some of the most common types of injuries, such as whiplash, may also cause problems years down the road.
Watching out for these five signs that you need physical therapy helps you to get the care you need to maintain your normal functioning.
5 Signs You Need Physical Therapy
After a car accident, look for these signs to understand if you need physical therapy:
1. You’ve Lost Your Range Of Motion
The normal range of motion in your neck, wrist, and other joints can vary from one person to another. You might also lose some of your range of motion as a normal part of the aging process.
However, you shouldn’t experience a noticeable rapid loss of your range of motion in the absence of an injury.
Especially if you’ve just been in an accident and even if you aren’t experiencing any pain, you need to make sure your range of motion hasn’t suffered.
If you notice that you can’t turn your neck or move your limbs in a certain direction as much as you used to, then you might benefit from visiting a physical therapist.
Physical therapists can prescribe therapies that help to restore flexibility and mobility in various parts of your body.
2. You Experience Weakness After Healing From An Injury
Damage to your muscles, ligaments, or nerves can also cause you to lose strength in the injured parts of your body.
In some instances, weakness might be accompanied by pain, but it can also occur without discomfort.
A car accident injury can sometimes disrupt how your nerves communicate with your brain to stimulate the muscles and ligaments that are responsible for movement.
Physical therapy can include strength-training exercises along with other strategies to help you regain the ability to do your essential activities with greater ease.
3. You Have Neck Or Back Pain With No Clear Injury
Many of the injuries that are sustained during a car accident are visible through either a visual exam or imaging tests. Unfortunately, there are also some that are virtually invisible, even when you arrange for the appropriate testing.
Physical therapists are trained to look for injuries that don’t always show up on an x-ray. For example, you might have microscopic tears in a muscle or scar tissue developing around your spine.
During your first appointment, you’ll undergo a comprehensive exam that can help to identify where your pain is coming from so that you get the appropriate types of treatment.
According to Bridge Physical Therapy, one of many clinics based in Ogden UT, everyone will require a personalized treatment plan since no two people are exactly the same.
By taking this approach, you are able to focus on areas of your body for targeted improvements, as well as establish plans for improving your overall physical health.
4. Your Recovery Progress Has Stalled
A person’s healing time can vary according to their age, general state of health, and the seriousness of their injury.
However, there are certain known parameters for when you should be feeling better after treating an injury.
For instance, whiplash from a car accident can take several weeks to a couple of months to heal.
Your initial treatment team will typically provide you with a general timeline for when you should be feeling better using a primary care method. Your primary care method can range from wearing a brace to focusing on highly specific exercises at home when you’re away from therapy.
After you reach a certain point, you’ll want to be concerned if you are still feeling pain, stiffness, or any other unusual symptoms. Physical therapy often serves as a bridge to help people with the next phase of their recovery.
You may discover that you need further surgery or you might need a therapeutic massage to loosen up stiff muscles and tendons.
5. You Prefer To Minimize The Use Of Pain Medications
A person today is more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident. Those statistics are great when you think about the number of vehicles on the road today.
Still, if you’ve survived a vehicular collision, there are new factors to consider with those statistics.
Doctors today are getting better about prescribing strong painkillers when it is only absolutely necessary. Yet, it is still possible to develop an addiction to pain medication or even accidentally take too much at once.
According to scientific data, the odds are that many people end up dying from an accidental overdose after being injured in a serious accident.
If you prefer to avoid the use of prescription painkillers, then you are fortunate enough to be living in a time when there is so much more than physical therapists can do to relieve your pain.
Soft tissue mobilization, electrical stimulation, dry needling, KT taping, and special fitness routines are just a few potential services that can help you to minimize pain when healing.
The majority of car accident injuries will get worse if they aren’t treated within an appropriate time frame.
Figuring out where your pain or weakness is coming from is as simple as getting a professional assessment from a physical therapist.
Addressing the underlying reasons for your post-accident challenges helps you to move forward from the trauma and begin living your best life again.