Consider Adding Physical Therapy to Your Treatment Plan for These Common Car Accident Injuries

Being in a car accident can be devastating if you get injured, and car accident injuries can be painful and unseen. Additionally, a severe collision may also lead to financial consequences, such as missing time off from work, having to purchase a new car, and dealing with insurance claims. A car accident injury can be addressed with various treatments, such as pain medication, occupational therapy, massage, spinal adjustments, surgery, or physical therapy.

At Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic & Acupuncture, PLLC, patients can get relief from pain with physical therapy treatment for auto accident victims and start the recovery process. Providers can consult with their physiotherapist to develop a treatment plan that aims to give you back your full range of motion, reduce pain and help you heal. Learn more about the most common car accident injuries that patients report and how physical therapy treatment can help relieve pain, improve the healing process, and get you back to enjoying everyday life sooner. Below are some of the common injuries experienced after an auto accident.

Whiplash

Frequently, motor vehicle accident victims report symptoms of whiplash after a car crash. Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs after the neck moves forward or backward suddenly. This type of injury is associated with a rear-end crash and can be more severe if the vehicle behind the driver is going at an accelerated speed. Car accident victims may have whiplash if they report neck pain, stiffness, shoulder pain, back pain, arm numbness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or blurry vision.

Immediately after the accident, healthcare providers may have the patient wear a brace or use heat therapy to relieve some pain and discomfort. Later, in a physical therapy clinic in Bayside, NY, the staff can incorporate therapeutic exercises to help strengthen the neck’s muscles and reduce the pain. Therapists may get the patient to start with slow, small neck movements to increase the range of motion. Then, they can focus on exercises like a chin tuck to help support the neck.

Lower Back Injury

Back pain, especially in the lower region, is another common complaint from car accident victims. Depending on the seriousness of the crash and the factors involved, there may be a significant injury to the lower back. If you feel lower back pain after being involved in a collision, it’s essential to get to the cause of your pain. Discomfort from the lower back may be due to a disc problem, a lumbar sprain, or spinal stenosis. 

The treatment for lower back pain is similar to other types of chronic pain. Providers may offer anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy to help. A physical therapist can show you various lower back stretches that may help with the stiffness. It may also be helpful to work on strengthening the core with crunches and leg raises.

Knee Pain

The trauma from a motor vehicle accident may also cause an injury to the knee, and the recovery process can be timely. The driver or passenger of the vehicle may be left with a knee fracture, a torn meniscus, or damage to the knee’s ligaments. Knee injuries can be problematic because they may make walking much more difficult. If you notice pain in the knee and swelling or stiffness, you should have your doctor check you out for a possible injury.

Knee problems after an accident can also be treated with different types of therapies. Your health care provider may instruct you to wear a knee brace during the day to help support the leg and make walking easier. Additionally, you may have to add knee exercises to your daily routine. At Bayside, patients may perform leg raises, hamstring curls, wall squats, calf raises, and step-ups to help boost the muscles around the knee and limit the pain.

Spine Injury

Spinal injuries can be some of the most devastating problems that come from a car accident. The most severe spinal injuries may lead to paralysis or a loss of movement in some parts of the body. Less severe spine problems may give you chronic pain and stiffness each day. Spine injuries may occur in the lumbar, thoracic, or cervical area of the spine. Symptoms of a spine injury may be back pain, knee pain, neck pain, or leg pain.

If your doctor feels it is safe to start physical therapy exercises, there are several movements that may help build your spinal strength back up. At Bayside Physical Therapy, Queens NY, the team may focus on rehabilitating the muscles and body. If the injury is severe, technicians and providers may focus on balance-building exercises. For pain relief, the goal may be to make the back and core muscles stronger.

Hip Pain

The force of a car crash may also cause problems in the hips. If you notice some discomfort in your hips and have trouble moving, there may be an injury to the hip socket or the joints. Some patients may have experienced bursitis or a dislocated hip joint after a car accident. Your primary care physician or specialist may diagnose hip pain with an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Physical therapy may be part of your rehabilitation program once you’ve been diagnosed with hip pain following a car accident. One of the most important parts of physical therapy is a gentle stretching program that can open up the hips and relieve some of the issues. Patients should practice stretches under the supervision of a physical therapist to make sure their form is correct, and they are getting all of the benefits of the movements.

Shoulder Injury

Your shoulders are also vulnerable to getting seriously injured if you are involved in a car crash. The force of an airbag, the seatbelt strap, and an impact on the side of your vehicle may cause a shoulder injury. A fracture could damage the collar bone or the shoulder, or the rotator cuff may tear. This pain presents either as a sharp feeling or a chronic dull ache that doesn’t go away.

Bayside’s physical therapy professionals can work with your doctor to develop an appropriate treatment plan to rehabilitate a sore shoulder. The team will design an exercise routine that targets the specific muscles and areas contributing to the shoulder injury. Therapists may have you start with arm stretches and then work up to resistance training with rows, extensions, and rotations.

Ankle Problems

Some car accident victims walk away from a crash with injuries to their feet and ankles. The impact from the collision may cause the vehicle’s interior to crush, trapping the feet and leading to significant foot or ankle trauma. You may experience pain from a strain, sprain, or bruising to the soft tissue around the foot and ankle. 

Treating foot and ankle injuries may require a support brace and a routine of specific physical therapy exercises. Therapists may work with patients to help strengthen the toes and ankle with flexing exercises designed to improve the range of motion. They may also have patients perform various stretches and calf raises to build up mobility.

Hand and Arm Pain

It’s also common to have problems with your hands, arms, wrists, or elbows after a car crash. Injuries to the nerves, muscles, joints, or tendons in this part of the body can be problematic. Hand and arm injuries make it challenging to do work, drive, cook, hold things and perform basic functions in your daily life.

At Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic & Acupuncture, the providers can evaluate your doctor’s orders and design a physical therapy routine that improves your prognosis. The physical therapy team may guide you through a series of arm, wrist, and finger rotations to improve mobility and reduce stiffness. They may also introduce various objects to squeeze, such as tennis balls or soft stress balls, into the routine to increase hand and finger movement.

Broken Bones

If you suffered a fracture after a car accident, there might be a long road to recovery. With a broken bone, your provider may first have to stabilize the area in a cast or a brace. Some patients may also need surgery to repair damage from a serious fracture. 

Eventually, when your bone has healed, and the cast comes off, you’ll need to shift your focus to rebuilding the muscles around the bone. Your physical therapist may assist you with the next phase of your fracture’s healing with a supportive exercise routine that slowly rebuilds your power.

Stress and Anxiety

It’s also possible for many patients to suffer no physical trauma after a car accident. Instead, there may be problems from stress or anxiety after the crash. Some people can’t stop seeing the accident happening in their heads, even weeks or months after the crash. In other cases, patients may feel additional stress and anxiety on top of having a physical injury.

In both of these situations, physical therapy may benefit pain symptoms in New York City area from car accidents. Patients without any physical damage can turn to therapeutic exercises guided by a professional at Bayside to help deal with the mental trauma and stress from an accident. Additionally, physical exercises with a therapist can give patients more tools to deal with their pain.

Bayside Physical Therapy

Healing from an injury that is a result of a car accident may require a comprehensive approach and physical therapy after an accident. Physical therapy, medications, braces, and more may benefit and help you feel better. Make an appointment with the team at Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic & Acupuncture PLLC to get started on therapy after a car accident as soon as possible. We accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation and no-fault insurance. Same-day appointments may be available. Call (718) 229-4878 today and get on the road to recovery!