Physical therapy for auto injuries typically involves reducing pain in the neck and back. Experience in treating these often tricky conditions is the key to a quick recovery. Trauma to the neck and back can often lead to damaged and displaced vertebral discs in your spine. The discs as well as the nerve they push upon will cause pain in the neck and back. Often the irritated nerves can send pain into the arms and legs causing numbness, tingling, and sharp pains.
Proper physical therapy for automobile accidents involves recognizing the pattern and addressing the proper tissues. Initially, manual massages to reduce spasms in the surrounding muscles along with anti inflammatory treatment are needed. This will reduce the pressure in the surrounding area to allow for proper healing. If discs are displaced, proper directional movements following the McKenzie approach is applied to put those discs back into their proper place.
The physical therapist will work with you after your car accident to educate you on what to expect during the recovery process. After the initial phase of pain, muscle spasm, and inflammation reduction, physical therapy progresses to stretching and strengthening. It is the most common mistake of many physical therapy clinics to progress to this phase too early without addressing the inflammation first. Trying to work and strengthen muscles that are in spasm only worsens the problem. Treating your injuries has to be a very hands on approach in the beginning.
Once your spasms and pain are well under control, corrective exercises to restore your posture and strength is initiated. During this phase, it’s important to avoid using typical “gym” exercises to strengthen your muscles. Exercises like lat pulldowns, leg presses, bench presses, shoulder presses, and even worse sit ups and resisted back extensions are almost counterproductive.
Watch the video below to see why physical therapy for auto accidents should be different than just a gym workout. Our physical therapists have helped car accident patients from South Jersey recover from their injuries optimally for the past 10 years.