New York City is one of the most populated cities globally, with approximately 8.6 million residents. Almost 1.5 million residents own a car, and thousands of tourists flock to the city by car each month. With so many vehicles on the road, there is no wonder car accidents are widespread. There are nearly 300 deaths each year in New York due to motor vehicle accidents, and more than 6,000 motorists are hospitalized with severe injuries. In Queens, vehicle collision injuries are a leading cause of death, and the borough has some of the highest car accident rates in New York state.
New York City Car Accident Injuries
Suffering an injury in a car accident can be a life-altering event. The shock from the incident itself can be debilitating, and the injuries you sustain can result in significant trauma. Motorists’ most common injuries in collisions include broken bones, whiplash, broken ribs, burns, and internal injuries. Along with medication and other medical interventions, physical therapy is often necessary after a car accident. Here is everything you need to know if you are seeking physical therapy in Queens.
Impact of Car Accidents in New York City
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents are a significant problem in Queens. There are many fatal accidents each year, and severe collision injuries are on the rise. Each month in Queens, NY, an average of eight residents are killed, and 110 more are hospitalized. Nearly 1,300 residents visit a hospital emergency room each month to receive care after a vehicle collision. The majority of car crashes in the borough involve at least two vehicles, and an increasing number also involve a pedestrian.
Contributing Factors to Brooklyn Car Accidents
The City of New York Police Department releases consistent information on collisions that happen in the city. The NYPD reports that the most common reasons for crashes include:
- Vehicles following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Disregarding traffic control
- Road rage
- Driver fatigue
- Unsafe lane changes
- Excessive speeding
- Talking on mobile phones
- Driver inexperience
While many accidents have multiple contributing factors, the NYPD regularly cites distracted driving as a significant concern in Queens, NY. Distracted driving occurs when drivers take part in other activities that take their attention away from the road. Everyday actions include sending a text message, talking on a mobile phone, applying makeup, or talking with other people in the car.
Why Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is an integral part of any car accident injury care plan. Physical therapists are trained to address musculoskeletal injuries. They are commonly utilized as a part of a care program to treat specific skeletal damage. The first step of physical therapy is to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation, including posture tests, joint strength examination, and other specialized tests. This evaluation is used to inform a personalized treatment program unique to your condition and injury.
The main goal of physical therapy is to help you gain strength while repairing injured muscles or tissues. In more severe cases, the physical therapist may work in tandem with an occupational therapist to help you relearn everyday activities, including brushing your teeth or getting dressed.
Some people only require a few sessions, while others attend physical therapy consistently for months or even years.
Depending on your injury, your therapist may incorporate methodologies including:
- Postural strength to alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain.
- Personalized exercises to help address acute and chronic pain, spine dysfunction, and body weakness.
- Manual therapy activates joints, eliminates scar tissue, improves inflammatory conditions, and enhances tissue healing.
Your therapist will work with you to progressively strengthen weak areas of your body by addressing the root cause of your injury. Regular sessions may be necessary to achieve lasting symptom relief.
Advantages of Physical Therapy
A personalized physical therapy care program can help you return to your previous level of functionality while helping you regain strength to resume your everyday activities. Your primary care doctor will likely refer you to a physical therapist if you suffer from chronic pain following a car accident. Here are the main benefits of using physical therapy in your injury recovery process.
Seeing a physical therapist could help you recover faster after a car accident. After a collision, you want to return to work and your everyday activities as quickly as possible. Physical therapists can help you improve your range of motion and regain strength quickly. Research shows those who attend physical therapy sessions once per week recover faster on average than those who use other at-home interventions.
In addition to speeding up your recovery time, seeing a physical therapist can help improve your health outcomes. Certain chronic pain conditions or long-term effects of your injury may be avoided with regular treatments. Regaining the ability to use certain parts of your body by participating in traditional physical therapy treatments can help ensure you recover to the fullest extent possible.
Prevent Further Damage
Receiving physical therapy treatments can help prevent further damage or secondary injuries. Most people experience weakness after a car accident injury. You are at an increased risk for falls, strains, and fractures while your body is in a weakened state. Physical therapy can help you regain your strength quickly, preventing further injury.
Reduce Reliance on Medications
After a car collision injury, you may be prescribed medication to reduce your pain. Physical therapy may be a good solution if you are concerned about addiction issues or becoming reliant on pills. Physical therapists specialize in helping patients regain strength naturally, without the help of over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Enhance Your Mental Health
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Queens, NY, your mental health can plummet during the recovery process. Physical therapy can play an essential role in helping you heal emotionally and physically after a car accident. Participating in physical therapy keeps you active and gives you someone to talk and interact with consistently
Include Costs in Your Compensation Claim
You are likely pursuing compensation for your insurance company to help pay for your medical care. If your primary care physician recommends physical therapy, you may be able to include the expenses in your insurance claim or compensation request. The goal of insurance or a legal claim is to help you regain your health without causing financial strain. Physical therapy is usually classified as part of medical care and is covered by no-fault insurance after the accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Therapy
Many people have questions regarding physical therapy after they begin treatment. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions regarding this treatment type.
What’s the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?
Physical therapy deals with rehabilitating the entire body, anywhere from the neck to arms and legs. The main goal of a physical therapist is to work with the whole body and help you regain balance and overall strength. On the other hand, occupational therapy is a more specialized discipline that focuses on the movement of the arms and hands. Occupational therapists often help clients practice specific tasks such as typing on a computer or eating with a fork. Occupational therapy also focuses on improving fine motor skills and improving memory. Occupational therapy and physical therapy may be prescribed simultaneously to treat your injuries after a car accident.
What happens in a therapy session?
Your therapist will likely include manual therapy and pain management techniques in your sessions, depending on the extent of your injury. During the manual therapy portion of the session, you may practice muscle strengthening, soft tissue mobilization, and joint mobilization. You will likely take part in therapeutic exercises, including stretching, strengthening, and stabilizing.
A therapist may administer a massage, ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, or cryotherapy during pain management techniques. Some physical therapy sessions dealing with back or neck issues may also include postural corrections or correcting musculoskeletal problems. Depending on your injury, your therapist will recommend how often you should attend treatment and how long each session should last.
Is physical therapy painful?
For most people, physical therapy is recommended for pain relief. Pain relief is frequently accomplished through techniques including ultrasounds, electrical stimulation, and heat therapy. The movement exercises you do with your therapist can also provide some pain relief. These exercises are designed to improve strength, range of motion, and endurance.
For some people, physical therapy exercises can be painful, especially in the beginning. For instance, recovering from a knee injury or surgery after a car accident can be painful. Your physical therapist will recommend the best exercises and techniques to help you recover quickly. If you experience significant pain during a certain exercise, communicate these feelings to your therapist. Exercises can often be adapted to make you more comfortable until you gain more strength.
Do I have to do exercises at home?
Depending upon your injury, your physical therapist may recommend you do specific exercises at home between sessions. Therapists suggest at-home exercises to empower people to treat their own injuries and to speed up the recovery process. It is vital that you follow these instructions. Performing exercises at home can help you regain your independence and get back to your everyday activities sooner.
How long do physical therapy sessions last?
A typical physical therapy sessions last for 30-45 minutes. However, your doctor may recommend longer or shorter treatments based on your injury and your pain levels. Some people only need to attend therapy for a few sessions, while others participate in regular sessions for months or even years.
What happens at the first physical therapy session?
At your first session, your physical therapists will start by evaluating your condition. They will ask you about your injury, your pain levels, and how your injury impacts your everyday activities. The therapist will then perform a series of tests to determine the extent of your injury. They may perform evaluations on your range of motion, mobility, strength, or endurance. The treatment exercises often begin on the same day as your evaluation. Therefore, your first appointment may go slightly more extended than future sessions.
What can I do to prepare for physical therapy?
To be ready for your first session, you should take notes on your condition and your injuries. Having your symptoms written down can help you recall details more easily when talking with your therapist. Another important thing you can do to prepare for therapy is to develop the right mindset. Physical therapy can be complex at times, but it is worth trying to regain your strength and mobility.
Work With Bayside Physical Therapy
Did you suffer an injury in a car accident, and do you want physical therapy to help you regain your strength and help you recover? Bayside Physical Therapy can provide you with a personalized care plan to help you improve your strength and increase your mobility. Located in Bayside, Queens, NY, our team uses a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare. We accept most insurance plans, including no-fault, PIP (Personal Injury Protection), workers’ compensation, and medical liens. Contact us today to set up a car accident physical therapy appointment with one of our licensed therapists.