After an auto accident, sometimes it takes up to 48 hours before you feel discomfort from the injury. The delayed reaction is due to your body responding to the injury by tightening muscles. Your muscles stay in a contracted state which leads to discomfort and limited range of motion. Physical Therapy helps to decrease muscle tightness through manual techniques, postural education, modalities, and prescribed exercises. If you have been injured in an auto accident, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy to receive treatment.
Auto Accident Injury, Do I see a Physical Therapist or a Chiropractor
After an auto accident, it is common to sustain an acute injury to your muscles. An acute injury has a rapid onset and involves an inflammatory process of the soft tissues. Soft tissue injuries consist of the muscles, fascia, and tendons. A neck and back injury is the most common injury sustained from an auto accident.
For an acute injury, it is best to visit your local physical therapist because therapists are trained to rehabilitate injured muscle in a conservative manner. After an auto accident, physical therapy focuses on decreasing muscle tightness and inflammation, which is ultimately causing pain and decreasing function.
If you have tried physical therapy for approximately 6 weeks and have not seen any results, it is recommended you contact your physician. Your physician might at that point suggest seeking chiropractic care and or imaging tests. After an auto accident, most people receive positive results with approximately 6 weeks of physical therapy.
Clinical Question – Strain vs. Sprain
What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?
Strain- A strain occurs to a muscle or tendon from an acute injury. An example of this is when someone is in a car accident. The person’s muscle/tendon is over contracted or over stretched depending on the position of the person during the accident. Common symptoms are pain, weakness, decrease range of motion, and muscle fatigue.
Sprain- A sprain occurs to a ligament in response to an overstretch or tear. An example of a sprain is when a patient steps off a curb and lands on the outside of their foot, this results in an ankle sprain. Common symptoms are pain, swelling, brusing, and decreased range of motion.