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The Benefits of Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

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While many treatments can provide instant pain relief, they don’t facilitate long-term recovery. Participating in physical therapy in Newark, NJ, can help you truly recover from your injuries. However, many patients become frustrated with the prolonged healing process associated with PT treatments. 

Mount Prospect Health Center outlined some benefits of physical therapy below to motivate you during your recovery journey. Whether you’ve considered physical therapy or currently attend weekly sessions, use the following list of advantages to inspire your perseverance. 

Avoid Chronic Symptoms With Car Accident Physical Therapy

The Centers for Disease Control found that 50 million adults in the U.S. struggle with chronic pain. Many injuries causing chronic pain occur because of car accidents. You might walk away from a wreck pain-free, but a hidden injury may creep up on you later with far-reaching consequences. 

According to Boston University, physical therapy treatments boast success rates of 77% or higher for the following injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Lower back pain
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Pinched nerves 

They can also help you heal from various other issues caused by traffic accidents, including joint, shoulder, and hip problems. Since car accident physical therapy could offer symptom relief for old and new injuries, you may still benefit even if your accident occurred years ago.

People who forgo physical therapy treatment plans and other non-invasive treatments might suffer from long-term pain that becomes worse as they age. Seeking PT in an accident’s fallout could protect your future mobility and comfort.  

Physical Activity Generally Relieves Pain

As a general rule, exercise protects and improves the body in a myriad of ways. But you sometimes need help determining which exercises will benefit your injury without overworking your body. Physical therapy integrates a regimen that targets wounded muscles and other soft tissues for optimal healing. 

The benefits of physical activity following an injury include:

  • Improved circulation: Nothing makes your blood flow quite like brisk exercise. Good circulation ensures oxygen and nutrients can travel to the injured tissues quickly. 
  • Less inflammation: Inflammation is often the source of many patients’ pain. Wounded tissues often swell immediately following an injury, affecting circulation. 
  • Faster healing process: Exercise increases blood flow and encourages your body to build stronger new tissues. Therefore, you may heal faster with regular, gentle exercise. 
  • Better mental outlook: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression and struggles with one’s self-image and outlook. Integrating exercise into your daily routine may improve your sense of personal well-being. 

The Wrong Exercises Can Worsen Injuries

While exercise aids the healing process, too much of it can worsen your injury. An experienced physical therapist can coach you through each session, ensuring each exercise targets and strengthens the correct tissues. They’ll learn your comfort levels and determine how much pressure and movement you need to regain mobility.

You’ll avoid re-injuring the wounded tissues as a result. Your therapist will assist you in striking the perfect balance between rest, movement, and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs. Once you build enough strength with an exercise, you can raise your goals and intensify your sessions.  

Your Physical Therapy Treatment Plan Could Prevent Surgery

Like many people, you want to avoid surgical procedures. Their invasive nature and extended recovery time make them an unappealing treatment to most patients. However, some doctors recommend it as a last resort for injuries that never recover correctly. 

A comprehensive physical therapy treatment plan might keep you from landing on an operating table in the future. The exercises help soft tissues heal correctly, which eliminates some health complications. When injured tissues regain strength, they can support your body better and prevent future injuries. 

Improve Your Range of Motion

Many chronic conditions that cause constant pain prevent certain body parts from moving comfortably. This limited movement gradually encourages stiffness, inflammation, and tissue weakness over time. Eventually, you might have significantly less range of motion than you did a year or two ago. 

Attending physical therapy sessions at any point can help you gradually regain your range of motion without suffering another injury. It can also help you enjoy a healthier aging process with fewer physical limitations. Integrating low-intensity, guided movements into your daily routine may also quicken the healing process. 

Increase Your Body’s Mobility

When you increase your range of motion, you can more comfortably move around. Physical therapy may significantly improve mobility throughout your daily routine. How would you feel if you could go to work or spend time with your family with low or non-existent pain levels? You might feel empowered to do more with your time. 

Some people discover that they can return to their favorite hobbies again. Gardening, afternoon strolls, and preparing meals become less of a chore. You, too, could open up new possibilities. 

Your Physical Therapist Can Recommend At-Home Workouts

Physical therapy doesn’t have to stay at the treatment center. Your recovery experience might improve when you perform some exercises at home.

One of the benefits of physical therapy is the versatility of specific exercises. Your therapist can demonstrate how various stretches and strength builders should feel. Then, they can recommend methods you can use for an at-home routine. Some patients purchase low-cost exercise equipment to assist them in their efforts. Others simply need their furniture to support them. 

Enjoy Higher Sleep Quality

Did you know that your sleep patterns affect your ability to heal? Unfortunately, your pain levels from an injury can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Therefore, your diminishing sleep quality affects your mood, energy levels, and healing process. 

The same idea applies to the average gym-goer looking to build some muscle. Muscle-building exercises create tiny tears throughout the muscle tissue. These tears are repaired while the person sleeps. Dysfunctional sleep patterns or a lack of deep sleep can negatively influence your recovery speed. 

Talk with your doctor about combination treatments involving medications for instant relief and physical therapy for long-term recovery. This approach may help you restore your body through exercise and sleep while finding quick relief through medications. 

Use Physical Therapy in Conjunction With Other Treatments

Finally, physical therapy’s non-invasive approach makes it an ideal treatment to use alongside a broader treatment plan. Many patients need a multifaceted approach tailored to their specific situation. One size does not fit all when developing a successful healing strategy.

However, some treatments limit you in what you can pursue throughout its duration. Physical therapy works well with:

  • Chiropractic manipulations
  • Pain management medications
  • Some surgical procedures
  • Mobility assistance equipment like canes and walkers

Why Do the Benefits of Physical Therapy Matter?

One common result of car accidents is chronic back pain, which costs sufferers 83 million days of reported lost work days, according to Georgetown University. This statistic doesn’t account for the lost time that they could have spent with family or on hobbies. If you suffer from an untreated chronic condition, you might feel hopeless about whether any options will work for you. 

PT plans offer a chance at sustained, long-term relief for many patients from all walks of life. Your therapist may start with a gentle routine to determine your pain points and learn your comfort zones. Then, they’ll gradually increase each exercise’s intensity to help surrounding tissues better support the wounded area. 

Physical therapy may seem daunting at first, but you may appreciate its versatility. You can attend sessions at your treatment center or request at-home visits from your therapists. Achieving the best results requires:

  • Patience
  • Consistency
  • Focus
  • Perseverance

You may finally acquire the range of motion and pain-free lifestyle you deserve with these attributes and a physical therapist’s guidance. 

Start Treatment at Mount Prospect Health Center in Newark, New Jersey

The benefits of physical therapy depend on a myriad of factors, including the injury type, the patient’s health condition, and their habits before the injury. At Mount Pleasant Health Center, we provide physical therapy for whiplash, back pain, joint injuries, and other problems. You can also access other treatments at our location in Newark, New Jersey.  

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available. Call 973-566-5572 to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does physical therapy improve overall physical functions?

Physical therapy improves overall physical functions by strengthening muscles and other soft tissues, which reduces pain. This increase in strength reduces pain and limited mobility caused by injuries and weakness. 

Is physical therapy always beneficial?

Physical therapy is almost always beneficial, even for progressive disorders like Parkinson’s disease. However, this treatment may not work as well as other options for certain patients. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach and learn more about the benefits of physical therapy. 

What is a disadvantage of physical therapy?

One disadvantage of physical therapy is that it may not produce immediate results. Patients who want speedy recovery times can become frustrated by the time and consistency required to achieve lasting relief. 

What causes soreness after physical therapy?

Muscle stress causes soreness after physical therapy. You must push the weakened body part to build strength, which can cause discomfort akin to a workout session.