Motor Vehicle Accident Physical Therapy in Barrington

Approximately 70% of us will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in our lives. Cities such as Barrington can have a high rate of incidents involving motor vehicles.

While fatalities are not the most likely result, a wide range of injuries are. The window directly after an accident occurs is your prime opportunity to regain full, pain-free function.

Some injuries that involve the spine and neck may require more acute therapy over a longer time span, but they will benefit from immediate minor mobility exercise.

This is why even if you think that you've walked away unharmed, you should contact Al Flores PT immediately to schedule a visit. You may have a strain you won't be aware of on your own until it hits you seven days later!

Common Afflictions

Stiffness and pain in the neck, ringing in the ears, dizziness and blurred vision, pain in the lower back or shoulder—these are common symptoms of whiplash, the most well-known motor vehicle related injury, caused by the unnatural snapping of the neck due to a sudden stop.

But this is not the only injury you may sustain in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

Strains

If you feel the following symptoms following a car accident, you are likely experiencing a muscle strain.

  • Muscle tightness or a “knotted” feeling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Weakness

Mild strains will leave you able to complete tasks as usual, but with discomfort. In the case of a severe strain every movement will be painful.

Strains are treated with heat, ice, compression, elevation and depending on the case, medication.

Sprains

A sprain can present similarly to strains. Symptoms also include:

  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Pain

With a sprain, you may have experienced the sound or feeling of a “pop” on the affected joint. Strains can occur at many points in your musculature and consist of the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon, whereas sprains specifically consist of the stretching or tearing of ligaments the tissue connecting two bones together in your joints.

Treatment for strains and sprains are similar, and focus very much on range of motion, using the icing technique often.

Fractures

While strains and sprains stress your muscles and ligaments, a fracture is a broken bone. While the terminology is different, it represents the same injury. When thinking about a fracture, it is often referred to a smaller break—a hairline fracture. Symptoms of fractures are far more extreme than those of strains and sprains, including:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Loss of function entirely
  • Bone deformity

If you have a broken/fractured bone, you will first see your doctor where they will set the bone or perform surgery. Following this, you will have a cast or splint applied. This is when physical therapy comes in.

While your bones are healing under that cast, you won’t be moving them around very much. With therapy, we will work with you to get your range of motion and strength back in a safe way, so as not to aggravate the injury further.