Physical therapy helps with many injuries and physical conditions. But what is it and who needs it? Click here and understand the benefits of physical therapy.
Each year approximately 2 million people sustain permanent injuries in car accidents. These injuries can lead to serious disabilities that cause long-term pain, loss of mobility, and the inability to function day to day.
Many people in this situation feel prescription drugs are the only answer to their pain. They’re also faced with the possibility of numerous surgeries in order to regain the quality of life they had before.
However, physical therapy offers an alternative solution to individuals injured in an auto accident. It provides a natural way to rehabilitate injured areas and allow you to take control of your recovery.
Let’s go over the benefits of physical therapy so you can determine if it’s right for you.
What is Physical Therapy?
A physical therapist is much different than a general physician. They provide hands-on treatment to help restore your strength and mobility after an injury.
Instead of using medication or surgery, physical therapy utilizes exercises and stretching techniques that focus on specific problem areas. The practice also helps you mitigate pain related to an injury.
A physical therapist will use a number of approaches depending on your injury. This may include stretching exercises to relieve tight muscles and joints. These exercises can help reduce the formation of scar tissue.
Strength exercises help you regain muscle functionality and range of motion. This is important after serious injuries that require immediate surgery.
In addition to working with you on a one-on-one basis, a physical therapist will teach you ways to continue your treatment on your own. This means you’ll take control of your own recovery instead of relying on medications that only ease symptoms temporarily.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy
If you’re wondering whether you need physical therapy, one way to decide is to listen to your body. If you have trouble performing simple tasks or have targeted pain associated with your injury, it’s time to see a therapist.
You’ll also benefit from physical therapy if your injury caused a loss of mobility. If you now have a limited range of motion, a therapist can help you relieve tension so you can regain the flexibility you once had.
Your general doctor may also recommend seeing a physical therapist. This may be in conjunction with additional treatment or as a primary rehabilitative process.
It’s important to understand your injury doesn’t have to be debilitating to pursue physical therapy. You can seek treatment for a very minor issue like a sprained ankle.
Regardless of the severity of your injury, physical therapy will provide the following benefits.
Help with Pain Management
After an auto accident, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with ongoing pain. This pain can affect your ability to work or function normally. It can also lead to other issues such as trouble sleeping.
Physical therapy will focus on soft tissues and joints in order to mobilize them. This results in restored functionality and a reduction in pain.
A physical therapist may use ultrasound to pinpoint the exact cause of pain and treat it with ultrasound therapy. They’ll then use hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization and massage therapy to reposition and relax joints and muscles.
This is a much safer alternative to pain medication. Opioids carry a high risk of addiction and can result in withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking them. There are also other side-effects including nausea, depression, and sleeplessness.
After an accident, you may have trouble doing simple things like walking, standing, or bending over. This can make daily life extremely frustrating.
A physical therapist will help strengthen the joints and muscles that sustained injury. They’ll also use stretching and massage techniques to help relax the problem areas. The goal is to restore movement and flexibility.
It’s very common for pain to cause loss of mobility. Easing your pain through natural techniques instead of medication will allow your joints and muscles to strengthen, leading to long-term rehabilitation. You won’t achieve this while relying on pain medication.
Some severe injuries result in lifetime disability of some sort. This means you’ll never fully regain the range of motion you once had. However, ongoing physical therapy can help restore a portion of the mobility you once had.
It’s important to understand you may need years of physical therapy. You’ll also need to practice techniques on your own time to advance the rate of rehabilitation.
After an injury, there’s a good chance you won’t have the balance you did before. This is dangerous, as you’re now at a higher risk of falling and further injuring yourself.
A therapist will determine if the possibility of falling is present. If this is the case, they’ll work with you to help return your balance and coordination.
Physical therapists use exercises that mimic common, everyday circumstances. The goal is to strengthen your balance so these situations don’t present a risk of further injury.
They can also work with you to eliminate any dizziness associated with your vestibular system. This is a sensory function in your body that helps with balance and coordination.
Eliminate the Need for Surgery
A huge benefit of physical therapy is that you may be able to treat your injuries without the need for surgery. This means no recovery time, pain, or medications.
Depending on your injury, therapy may provide the same results as surgery. It may take longer to achieve these results, but it’s worth it if it means avoiding invasive surgical procedures.
If your injuries are severe enough to require emergency surgery, physical therapy can help you recover faster. Some people even opt for pre-surgery therapy to prepare for the recovery process.
Make sure you talk to your doctor about choosing physical therapy over surgical treatment. They can break down the pros and cons to help you determine which path is better for you.
Take Control of Your Recovery
After an auto accident, you may feel helpless against the pain and lack of mobility caused by your injuries. However, physical therapy will empower you to take control of your own rehabilitation.
Keep these benefits of physical therapy in mind when deciding which treatment plan is right for you.
We provide solutions for individuals injured in auto accidents, workplace accidents, and slip and falls. Contact us today for a consultation.