BAM! It happened. That sickening crunch sound that makes you sick to your stomach. And now on top of the paperwork and hassle of sorting through insurance and mechanical repairs, your head is pounding, your neck hurts and you feel like your body has been hit by a truck (or a sedan or a minivan, depending on how the accident went down).
Motor vehicle accidents happen. And when they do, it’s important that you seek medical care within a few days of the accident to assess your injuries. In some cases, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately, for instance:
- If you cannot stop the bleeding
- If you have lost consciousness at any point
- If you’ve vomited
- If you’ve been impaled by an object (i.e., there is an object stuck in your skin that should not be there)
- If you have an exposed/broken bone
- If you’ve sustained a head injury
- If you think you’re having a heart attack.
If you are sore and bruised in the days following your accident, you should schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.
Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries Treated With Physical Therapy
There are a number of motor vehicle accident injuries that can be treated with physical therapy. The main concern with this type of trauma is damage to the musculoskeletal system, which is exactly what physical therapy specializes in.
Common injuries treated after a motor vehicle accident include:
- Whiplash — This is a big one. The blunt impact of a vehicle crash can whip your neck back and forth, causing internal damage to the ligaments, muscles and discs around your spine. This can result in pain and tenderness to the touch, headaches, and general aches that don’t seem to go away.
- Strains and sprains — Common in wrists, strains and sprains can happen when trying to brace yourself against the impact of an oncoming vehicle. For most people, this is an automatic reaction, but it puts the joints in a precarious position and often leads to damage.
- Concussions — While concussions should initially be checked by an emergency medical professional, the ongoing effects of a severe concussion can last for weeks. Symptoms like dizziness and vertigo, headaches, and trouble focusing your eyes can stay with you long after the initial concussion.
- Back pain — Similar to whiplash, the impact of a motor vehicle accident can cause your spine to twist in severe ways, which can damage the gel-like discs that are between each vertebra. When spinal discs are damaged, the nearby nerves can become pressed against, causing radiating pain in the lower back and sometimes into the buttocks and legs.
A physical therapist is able to treat most types of orthopedic injuries, including severe bruising after an accident. You can schedule a free consultation with a physical therapist to determine the best treatment options for your particular injuries.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact our team at Lattimore Physical Therapy today. We can get you on the schedule and help you back on your feet as soon as possible. Check out our locations page to find a clinic near you, or request an appointment online. We are here to help you find relief from your auto accident.