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How Physiotherapy Helps in Accident Rehabilitation

How Physiotherapy Helps in Accident Rehabilitation

In a given year in Canada, there are 160,000 or more car accidents across the country. These collisions can not only be costly in repairs, but come with serious health risks. Even if you aren't severely injured in a car accident, even a small collision at speed can result in long-lasting health consequences. Here, our Nepean physiotherapists explain how physical therapy can help to rehabilitate injuries from accidents, especially car accidents. 

You likely don't need to be told that car accidents and collisions can cause very serious health issues or even be fatal to people caught in them. However, even relatively minor car accidents and collisions can have negative health effects that, if not promptly diagnosed and treated, may result in 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 Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy 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 conditions that may arise as a result of your involvement in a car accident and how our Nepean physical therapists can help to rehabilitate you through various physiotherapy interventions. 

Conditions and Injuries caused by Car Accidents

A wide variety of injuries and health conditions that are treatable by physical therapists 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 its severity, whiplash may cause symptoms from neck pain and stiffness or restricted mobility. Its symptoms may also only begin expressing themselves days or weeks after the accident that caused them and may even grow worse with time. 

Concussions and Other Traumatic Brain Injury

Since concussions can result from any sufficiently strong blow to your head, they are a relatively common result of vehicle collisions.  Symptoms of a concussion include nausea and vomiting, memory issues, confusion, disorientation 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 involves treatments administered to your injured areas (like massage, acupuncture, hot and cold packs and more) as well as prescribed exercises to help recover mobility, strengthen weakened muscles and alleviate pain as well as preventing future injury to the same tissues. 

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 cases, if not treated by a physical therapist, car accident injuries may grow worse over time, becoming chronic, lifelong struggles. 

Avoid Surgical Intervention or Improve Surgical Outcomes

In some instances, the injuries sustained during a car accident can be serious enough to require surgical treatments. There is sometimes a chance that these injuries may actually be resolved when rehabilitated through physiotherapy instead of through invasive procedures.

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

Things like making sure you don't slouch and maintain good posture and refrain from potentially harmful physical habits and movements will be just as (if not more) important than the exercises and treatments we prescribe.

Have you recently been part of a car accident and sustained injuries? Physiotherapy may be able to help.

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

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Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.

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