Don’t let getting rear-ended put you in the back seat Over two million people in the United States each year will experience a car accident. Many will walk away without injury, but many more will have lingering pain and disability. If you have been in a car accident, you know that you may have neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, headaches—and more! Pain or other symptoms may not be present right after your car accident. You may even think you have walked away from your collision without any problems, only to have your neck start aching two days later. While your doctor will perform all the necessary imaging to rule out severe injuries, such as fracture or concussion, you may be left with discomfort sleeping, sitting, or going about your normal activities. Your soft tissues—muscle, nerve, ligaments, tendons—can all be impacted by a car accident without any findings on imaging. Often you will feel increased tension throughout your body, particularly in the neck and shoulders. You may experience headaches, tingling, and shoulder pain. Car accidents are stressful enough without lingering pain and discomfort keeping you from moving on. Our physical therapists’s goals is returning you to your life prior to the accident—whether that be driving without pain, eliminating your headaches, or getting back out on the trails.
COMMONLY TREATED CONDITIONS POST MVA:
- Whiplash (diffuse head, neck, and shoulder pain or numbness/tingling)
- Muscle Spasm
- Back Pain
- Rotator cuff strain
WHEN TO SEEK A PHYSICAL THERAPIST POST-MVA:
- You have difficulty sitting or standing for long periods of time without increased discomfort.
- You start having headaches, or your headaches change (frequency, duration, how they feel).
- You have difficulty looking at screens, driving, or simply going for a walk due to dizziness, headaches, or eye fatigue.
- You have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep due to pain or discomfort.
- You simply are unable to do your normal day to day activities without pain, discomfort, or fatigue.
- You have numbness and tingling into the arms/hands/feet that persists despite “normal” imaging.
GOALS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY:
- Reduce the risk of falling
- Improve your balance
- Strengthen your body
- Improve your mobility
- Increase your level of activity
- Reduce your fear of falling
- Establish confidence in yourself and your body