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How Physiotherapy Helps in Accident Rehabilitation

Posted Nov 15th, 2021

Each year in Canada there are 160 000 or more car accidents. These collisions can not only cost you in repairs, but come with serious health risks too. Even if you aren't seriously injured in an automobile accident, a small collision at speed can have long-lasting health consequences for you. Here, our Stittsville physiotherapists explain how physical therapy is able to help rehabilitate you after an accident, especially a car accident.

You probably already know that car accidents come with the potential for very serious health issues. They can even be fatal! Even relatively minor car accidents and collisions come with the risk of negative health impacts that, if not properly diagnosed and treated, may cause serious long-term health issues.

Some injuries sustained as a result of a car accident may not even be apparent until they begin to express themselves through pain, stiffness, discomfort and other serious symptoms as long as months after your accident. At Motion Works Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre, our physiotherapy center is proud to be able to offer car accident rehab for injuries and other health conditions. 

Here are some of the health issues that may arise as a result of a car accident and hor our Stittscille physical therapists can help your recovery through a number of different physiotherapy interventions. 

Conditions and Injuries caused by Car Accidents

There are a wide variety of injuries and health conditions that can be treated by physiotherapy that may occur as a result of your involvement in a car accident.

The two following injuries are some of the most common:


Whiplash is generally considered to be the most common injury caused by car accidents. During a car accident, your body is suddenly jerked causing your neck to potentially whip back and forth, injuring the soft tissues, ligaments, tendons and joints in your neck. 

Depending on the severity of your whiplash, you may find you experience symptoms from neck pain and stiffness to restricted mobility. The symptoms may also only start to express themselves in the days and weeks following the accident that caused them. They may also grow more serious over time. 

Concussions and Other Traumatic Brain Injury

Since concussions may result from any sufficiently strong blow to your head, they can be quite common as an injury resulting from vehicle collisiions. The symptoms of a concussion can rnage from memory issues and confusion to nausea, vomiting and problems with concentration. 

When your brain gets jostled (such as when your body is suddenly jerked by a vehicle collision), it can damage the brain and make it difficult for brain cells to function and communicate. It generally takes a week or more for the symptom of a concussion to subside after appearing, but depending on their severity, the symptoms can persist for much longer than that.

How Can Physiotherapy Help Rehabilitate Car Accident Injuries?

Much like physical therapists can alleviate pain and discomfort from injuries sustained through sports or even simply sitting improperly at your day job, physiotherapy can be used to help alleviate pain and stiffness, restore mobility and prevent the worsening or reoccurrence of injuries that you experienced as a result of a car accident. 

Physiotherapy generally involves the treatment administered to the injured areas of your body (such as acupuncture, hot and cold packs, massage and more). It can also include prescribed exercises to thelp you to recover your mobility, strengthen muscles that may have been weakened, and alleviate pain while preventing future injury to the same areas. 

Our physiotherapists are able to help patients suffering from pain and discomfort as a result of injuries like whiplash or concussions in the following ways:

Support Quicker Recovery And Prevent Long-Term Damage

health issues like chronic headaches, loss of balance, stiffness, loss of motion and chronic pain may dissipate on their own, but physiotherapy can help to quicken their recovery. Improved strength, flexibility and balance from physiotherapy treatment can all help ensure you can return to your normal day-to-day life as soon as possible.

In some instances, if you aren't promptly treated by a physiotherapist, car accident injuries may become severe, chronic life-long struggles.

Avoid Surgical Intervention or Improve Surgical Outcomes

In some cases, the injuries you sustain during a car accident may be serious enough to require surgical treatment. There is sometimes a chance that these severe injuries may improve and dissapate when rehabilitated through physiotherapy, avoiding invasive treatments.

While this isn't always the case, and some injuries will require surgery to resolve, physiotherapy can also be helpful in speeding your recovery from surgery and, if there is time, improve the outcome of the surgery itself through proactive strengthening therapies. The healthier you are going into a surgery, the better. 

The "Don'ts" Are Just as Important as The "Do's"

While there are specific treatments our physiotherapists offer patients who have been injured in car accidents, when it comes to trauma from an accident like this what we instruct you to refrain from doing is very important too.

Our Stittsville physiotherapists can offer you guidance on how your routine will need to change after an accident where you were injured.

Small things like ensuring you don't slouch and keep a good posture as well as refrain from harmful physical habits and movements is just as important, if not even more important, than the treaments and exercises you will be prescribed. 

Have you recently gotten into a car accident? Physiotherapy may be able to help you recover from your injuries.

Our physical therapists are happy to talk to you about your treatment options.

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