How Long Should I Go to Physical Therapy After a Car Accident?

Nov 10, 2020

How Long Should I Go to Physical Therapy After a Car AccidentAfter the trauma of a car accident, most people want to move on as quickly as they can. Not only do insurance claims and court proceedings take a long time, but injuries may serve as a reminder of the event. While it may seem easiest to stop treatment when your initial pain goes away, doing so can actually cause more chronic issues in the future. The exact length of your treatment plan will depend on what your chiropractor in Marietta determines, but following their instructions will be crucial for preventing life-long issues.

Why Physical Therapy Is Important

With most car accident-related injuries, the full impact will not be obvious right away. It is only after you begin to get back to daily activities that you start to notice a loss of range of motion, stiffness, or pains that were not there before. In addition to discovering and addressing the root cause of these pains, physical therapy is able to support the process of recovery in a number of ways. By improving flexibility, increasing strength, and managing pain, physical therapy makes recovery easier and more long-lasting.

Because this deals with not only your immediate pain, but also creates a healthier body, physical therapy can also help prevent long-term complications from developing. When injuries are not treated quickly after a car accident, they can be exacerbated, which is what leads to permanent damage and chronic pain. By proactively looking for these issues and addressing overall health, physical therapy can prevent this from happening.

While it may sound counterintuitive, physical therapy can also reduce pain by keeping you physically active. Even if moving makes you sore at first, it is actually a powerful way to improve healing. Moving allows oxygenated blood and nutrients to reach the injured area quickly and in larger quantities, which helps your body to heal itself better. The stretches and exercises done in physical therapy get your body used to motion and function while promoting healing.

What Determines the Timeline?

Unfortunately, there is no single answer to how long physical therapy takes to be fully effective. This depends on a range of factors that a chiropractor in Marietta can assess to make a customized plan for you.

The severity of your accident will play a role in determining the length of physical therapy treatment that is recommended. A car accident that is less serious will often have less impact on the body, so tissue and bone are not as damaged as it might have been otherwise. More minor damage may heal more quickly with physical therapy.

The type of injury you sustained will also impact the time you spend in physical therapy. For example, whiplash is the most common injury caused by car accidents, and people usually spend up to three months in treatment for it to heal. Another common injury, fractures, can take six to eight weeks of therapy to heal. Certain parts of the body are able to heal more quickly than others and will require less physical therapy.

If you had previous injuries or conditions, this can also be a factor in your therapy’s duration. Older injuries often leave behind scar tissue, which can make it hard for your body to heal when new injuries are sustained. If the prior injuries were not treated properly, you may need a physical therapy plan that addresses both your current and past conditions, making the regiment longer. It is important to disclose full health history to any doctor you work with so they have the full context of your injury.

What Does This Mean for You?

While there is no definitive answer on how long your physical therapy plan will be, one thing is certain: the sooner you start, the better you will be able to heal. At AICA Marietta, we specialize in car accident victims and are able to help pinpoint the injury you have sustained. From there, we develop a customized plan to meet your needs through physical therapy, supported by other specialists. With pain management experts, orthopedists, neurologists, and chiropractors in Marietta, AICA Marietta is able to treat you comprehensively to ensure the best outcome.

Our plans are built not only to reduce pain and reverse the damage done, but also to improve muscle strength and decrease the risk of future injuries by increasing flexibility and range of motion throughout the body. If you are wondering about what physical therapy would look like for you, contact AICA Marietta today to schedule an initial consultation and begin a path to recovery.