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motor vehicle accident

Why Physical Therapy is Important Following Motor Vehicle Accident

It is a reality.

Motor vehicle accidents happen, and when they do, you often end up injuring more than just your vehicle. Each year, over 6 million accidents occur in America. Most of these are minor fender benders, but that does not eliminate the chance of you injuring your back or neck in the process.

The most common way a neck or back gets injured is typically through a rear-end collision. One minute you are at a stoplight waiting for the light to turn green, the next minute…CRASH!!. Through inertia, your entire body is jutted forcibly in directions that were never intended. You are in shock.

You may or may not even be in pain due to the adrenaline coursing through your body. It is not until you have settled down and hours have passed that you start to feel the ache and stiffness in your neck and possibly your lower back. What the heck is happening??

Due to the trauma, your neck is going through the initial phase of inflammation. The momentum of the accident has caused your vertebral bodies that make up your spine to shift which tweak the ligaments, tendons, and disc tissue. These tissues are highly innervated and sensitized to both motion and pressure.

Your spine is talking to you now. It is saying “let’s take it easy and slow.” Muscles along with the spine spasm and tighten up as a response to the trauma.

Everything is irritable. Your body is doing its best to respond to this injury. Just because this is not severe trauma, does not mean that you are not going to need to see your doctor. You now realize that the ache in your neck is getting worse, and the over-the-counter NSAIDs are barely helping. A visit to your leads to physical therapy. What now?

Here at SportsCare Physical Therapy, we take the time to properly evaluate the injury you’ve experienced.

We measure the range of motion of your spine and screen for any neurological deficiencies that may be present.

We assess vertebral joint and soft tissue mobility as well as strength. This thorough evaluation is just a small part of the overall comprehensive assessment. Every person is unique, and no two accidents are alike.

Oftentimes people who suffer an accident initially seek treatment through a chiropractor or massage therapist, but the pain relief is only temporary. They are suffering for weeks, months, and oftentimes years –needlessly.

Why see a Physical Therapist instead? The missing ingredient is oftentimes the strength and stabilization of the spine. At SportsCare PT, we are exercise experts. A tailor-made routine to account for any deficiencies in strength/stability will be provided both in your clinic and home program.

Improving the stability and strength of the spine allows for subtle things to improve, such as sitting in school or at work for long periods of time or standing in line at the grocery store without that constant ache in the neck or back. Activating your deep core muscles may be the missing piece needed to solve your pain puzzle.

If you experience any sort of motor vehicle accident, reach out to any clinic or request an evaluation online to get you back on track to living life well today.