What kinds of crash-related injuries do physical therapists treat?
It’s something that anyone who’s ever been in a motor vehicle accident knows all too well: That life-saving trip to the emergency room is often only the first step in the long road to recovery. Injuries from car accidents can impact your life for months or years after the initial incidents.
Among the injuries for which patients often seek physical therapy are whiplash, knee damage, torn rotator cuffs, crushed hands, cracked ribs and damaged lungs — as well as traumatic brain injury, nervous system disorders, stress disorder and nonspecific pain.
Is there more than one kind of physical therapy available after a crash?
Physical therapy isn’t just for whiplash or broken bones. There are several categories of crash injuries for which the treatment can be helpful.
One such sub-specialty is called cardiovascular therapy, but for accident victims, it is often related more to the pulmonary system than the heart. Bruised and cracked ribs can interfere with lung capacity, so a heart-lung therapist will work with the patient in order to improve breathing function.
Physical therapists can also provide neurological therapy for people who suffered from traumatic brain injuries as a result of their car accident. Brain trauma can affect balance, strength and the sense of touch, among other serious problems. Physical therapy is often key to improving these conditions after the accident.
Of course, orthopedic damage to the neck, back, knees and shoulders is also helped by “classic” physical therapy. PT for these injuries typically includes specialized exercises and gentle, targeted massage.
Why is it important to start physical therapy as soon as possible?
Depending on your injury, scar tissue can build up along injured muscles, tendons and joints — making the recovery process that much longer if you don’t work on it as soon as possible. PT also helps you avoid “teaching” your body bad habits to make up for your injuries, such as potentially throwing your spine out of alignment because you’re favoring an aching hip.
Finally, any insurance or legal claims you may be seeking will need documentation in order to prove the duration needed for physical therapy treatment.
Our team of physical therapists can help you with all of these issues, by working with you to determine the scope of physical therapy care that you need, as well as providing any needed professional documentation.
Contact us today at Sterling, VA center for an appointment, so that you can begin recovery from your motor vehicle accident as soon as possible.