Atlanta Physical Therapy

Most people experience a car accident at least once in their lives. Luckily, most do not cause severe injuries. However, not every person gets lucky. According to a report by the National Safety Council (NSC), there are at least 5 million medically-consulted auto accident injuries per year.

Fortunately, most recover without chronic pain or disability, thanks to proper medical care and physical therapy in Atlanta. This form of rehabilitative therapy is usually recommended for individuals experiencing pain, numbness, stiffness, and mobility issues as a result of accidents.

If you are among them, do not wait for pain to become your constant companion. Call us at 404-596-5670 to schedule an appointment with a qualified Atlanta injury specialist today.

Table of Contents

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a non-invasive approach to healthcare that aids patients in achieving, maintaining, and restoring optimal physical functionality and mobility. It provides relief from pain, aids in injury recovery, assists in managing chronic conditions, and can even prevent potential future injuries. Suitable for all ages and life stages, the primary objective of physical therapy is to enhance health and elevate the quality of life.

Physical therapy with an assessment, which includes a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and a physical examination. Based on this information, the therapist will devise a personalized treatment plan, offer hands-on support during exercises, and track the patient’s progress over time.

When Do I Need Physical Therapy After an Accident?

While a doctor’s evaluation is always recommended after an accident, here are some indicators that physical therapy can be instrumental in your recovery:

  • Pain that lingers beyond a few days, especially if it worsens with certain movements or activities, is a red flag. Physical therapists can pinpoint the source of pain and create a treatment plan to alleviate it.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, or feeling unsteady on your feet after an accident
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty with basic tasks like bathing, dressing, or climbing stairs
  • Lingering soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains

 

Keep in mind that early intervention is key to preventing chronic problems. If you experience any of the above symptoms, do not hesitate to seek an Atlanta physical therapist’s evaluation.

Physical Therapy Diagnostic Tools

A thorough evaluation is the foundation of effective physical therapy. Here’s what you can expect during your initial assessment:

Detailed History

The physical therapist will gather information about the accident, your medical history, current symptoms, and any limitations you’re experiencing.

Physical Examination

Next, they will conduct a range of motion tests, muscle strength evaluations, gait analysis (how you walk), and specific tests to assess balance and coordination.

Imaging Tests

These are not always necessary, but X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds might be recommended in some cases to gain a clearer picture of the underlying injury, especially if a fracture or ligament tear is suspected.

Based on this comprehensive evaluation, the physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Physical Therapy in Atlanta

What to Expect With Physical Therapy After an Accident

Physical therapy sessions typically last 45-60 minutes and are scheduled 2-3 times per week initially. The frequency can decrease as you progress in your recovery journey. Here’s a breakdown of what a typical session might involve:

Review of Progress

The therapist will discuss your progress since the last session and any changes in your symptoms.

Manual Therapy

This encompasses a variety of hands-on techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, and Myofascial Release (MFR). Massage can improve circulation, reduce muscle tension and pain, and promote healing.

Joint mobilization gently increases the range of motion in a stiff joint. MFR targets specific trigger points in muscles and fascia (connective tissue) to alleviate pain and improve flexibility.

Therapeutic Exercises

A personalized exercise program is designed to strengthen weakened muscles, improve flexibility, restore balance, and enhance coordination. These exercises may be performed in the clinic and continued at home for optimal results.

Patient Education

The practitioner will educate you about your injury, the treatment plan, and how to manage your pain at home. This might involve instructions on proper posture, body mechanics, and pain management techniques.

Throughout your therapy sessions, open communication with your physical therapist is crucial. So, don’t hesitate to ask questions, voice any concerns, and report any changes in your symptoms.

What to expect with physical therapy after an accident

Physical Therapy Techniques to Treat Accident Injuries

There are several physical therapy techniques that can be used to treat accident injuries. The appropriate one, however, depends on the type of injury and its severity. These are some of the techniques, but not all.

Dry Needling

This is a minimally discomforting and usually effective physical therapy method for people with musculoskeletal issues.

In this procedure, a certified physical therapist inserts a monofilament needle in your skin to treat the underlying muscular trigger points and address movement impairments and neuromusculoskeletal pain.

Cupping

This technique, as the name implies, involves placing cups on your skin to create suction. This boosts energy flow in your body, facilitating healing.

Graston Technique

This is a manual form of physical therapy that utilizes stainless steel tools to conduct muscle mobilizations. Physical therapists use Graston tools to first find muscle restrictions or knots. Next, they use these devices to break up the tissue in order to restore mobility and function.

Physical Therapy in Atlanta

How Can We Help You Recover From Accident Injury?

We are movement experts dedicated to helping you regain your strength, mobility, and independence after an accident. Here’s how an Atlanta physical therapist can be your partner in recovery:

  1. Personalized Treatment Plan: A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist in physical therapy. Instead, your therapist will design a treatment plan specific to your injury, goals, and overall health.
  2. Pain Reduction: Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing pain and reducing inflammation, allowing you to move with greater ease and participate in activities you enjoy.
  3. Improved Mobility and Flexibility: Through targeted exercises and manual therapy techniques, physical therapists can help you regain a full range of motion in your joints and improve overall flexibility.
  4. Enhanced Strength and Endurance: A personalized strengthening program will help you rebuild muscle strength and improve endurance, allowing you to return to your daily activities with confidence.
  5. Reduced Risk of Future Injury: Physical therapy can address underlying imbalances and weaknesses that may have contributed to your accident. Strengthening these areas can help prevent future injuries.
  6. Education and Self-Management: Physical therapists empower you with the knowledge and tools you need to manage your pain, prevent future injuries, and maintain your long-term health.

Types of Car Accident Injuries

It is important to understand the various types of car accident injuries so that if you’re a victim, you can determine whether physical therapy is the best course of action. Some of the most common auto accident injuries include:

Whiplash

This is a neck injury that occurs as a result of the sudden jerk of the head during a collision. Physical therapy proves beneficial in helping reduce the pain, strain, and stiffness that come with whiplash.

Back and Spine Injuries

Car accidents can cause facet joint injuries, disc herniations, and spinal sprains. Physical therapy can address back pain, improve flexibility and core strength, and promote spinal stability.

Head Injuries

While often managed by neurologists in severe cases, physical therapy can play a role in recovery from mild head injuries like concussions. This may involve exercises to improve balance, coordination, and cognitive function that can be affected by a concussion.

Joint Injuries

Injuries to the shoulder, knee, ankle, or other joints can be a consequence of a car accident. Physical therapy helps restore range of motion, strengthen supporting muscles, and improve joint stability.

Soft Tissue injuries

Strains, sprains, and contusions (bruises) can occur in various parts of the body due to an accident. Physical therapy promotes healing, reduces inflammation, and improves flexibility in the affected area.

Fractures

While fractures often require initial immobilization, physical therapy plays a vital role in the later stages of recovery. Strengthening exercises and mobility training help regain strength and restore function in the injured area.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. Car accidents can cause rotator cuff tears, leading to pain, weakness, and difficulty lifting the arm.

Physical therapy exercises can strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, improve shoulder stability, and restore pain-free movement.

The Team of Georgia Spine & Orthopaedics

Get a Physical Therapist Who Understands Your Pain!

Living with pain can be both physically and emotionally draining. As such, it is advisable to seek help from a physical therapy professional in Atlanta who can devise a tailored treatment plan.

At Georgia Spine & Orthopaedics, we recognize that each individual’s pain experience is unique, and there isn’t a universal solution for all pain. That’s why our physical therapy partners create personalized plans for each patient, taking into account their symptoms, lifestyle, medical history, and much more.

We employ cutting-edge tools and methodologies, ensuring that we strive to identify the underlying cause of your pain and formulate a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort. After all, it’s easier to tackle the pain after uncovering the underlying cause. Call our offices today at 404-596-5670 to get started!

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