It is challenging enough to be a defensive driver without the distractions that lead to increased risk of a motor vehicle accident. The fact is, the incidents of careless driving are on the rise, and this is no less prevalent than in the increased number of drivers texting on their cell phones whilst driving. Impact collisions not only leave you bewildered and most likely physically injured, but there are delayed reactions and symptoms of car accident injuries that continue to surprise you almost daily after you have been in a motor vehicle accident.
Dealing with the Delayed Car Accident Injuries
Did you know that there exists car accident physiotherapy to alleviate pain and treat the symptoms of car accident injuries? When facing such conditions as whiplash, headache, back pain, shoulder pain or the flashbacks of the incident itself, it is crucial to seek car accident rehab for relief as soon as possible. The stress and involuntary physical tension in addition to physical injuries only get worse the longer you put off treatment. Why delay treatment when you can obtain a physiotherapy assessment from Pro Fusion Rehab immediately following a car accident and improve your chances of proper injury rehabilitation?
Car Accident Physiotherapy
After sustaining impact from a motor vehicle accident, it is understandable that a sense of relativity for the victim may be completely thrown off. Even simple decisions can be difficult until the tension and stress can normalize once again. This should not be a time, however, to avoid seeking an assessment and treatment for car accident injuries, some of which may only be revealed in the days or weeks following the initial impact. Delayed symptoms are typical when it comes to the musculoskeletal system, that which involve both the bones and muscles of the body. To help you understand the dynamic of the aftermath of a car accident, here are the five most common delayed symptoms that may lead to further injury without treatment:
1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a normal response to trauma. In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, victims are besieged by the images, sounds, smells and emotional responses that are locked into the memory of the moment of collision since it can be such an assault to the senses. In fact, flashbacks or repeated dreams that can be characterized as nightmares revisiting the incident are really the brain’s way of trying to ease this tension. When PTSD is left untreated, the psychological symptoms may persist long after the traumatic event where any physical or psychological stimuli can trigger the stress.
According to NICE (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Clinical Guidelines, No. 26.
As much as 80 percent of all acute stress circumstances develop into PTSD.
Aside from re-experiencing the trauma mentally, persons suffering from PTSD may avoid situations or experience reduced responsiveness. They may have increased anxiety, which could include dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches or even fainting, all symptoms synonymous with panic attacks. They may become hyper-vigilant or even feel strange or out of sorts in their surroundings. Sleep disturbances can lead to feeling dazed or having trouble concentrating during the day.
Pro Fusion physiotherapists approach these issues with the whole picture in mind. Treatment expands beyond the musculoskeletal system to include the autonomic nervous system to treat the involuntary nerves and muscles that control the organs. Physical activity, body work and relaxation exercises including breathing control help to improve overall calmness, decrease pain and reduce hyper-vigilance.
Whether PTSD develops quickly or from delayed onset, our physiotherapists can recognize the signs and symptoms to better understand the risk factors and address the needs of patients on an individual basis. Delayed treatment could mean an increased risk of developing nervous system disorders and problems associated with the circulatory and digestive systems, hypertension and other ill-defined conditions.
You could be properly restrained by the seat belts in a vehicle and still sustain the neck strain or sprain commonly known as whiplash. It can even occur in something as seemingly innocuous as a fender bender. If there is enough energy to cause the neck to extend beyond its usual range of motion, you could be at risk of car accident injuries that require urgent attention.
Your physiotherapist along with a general practitioner trained to detect any abnormalities that warrant further concern can assess the nature of your car accident injuries before proceeding with delivering relief and preventing further injury. Above all, this is a common injury due to a motor vehicle accident that must not be ignored.
The common signs and delayed symptoms include tenderness in the back, neck and shoulders; difficulty achieving normal range of motion of the neck and head; muscle spasms; headache; poor concentration; sleep disturbances; fatigue; difficulty chewing; poor vision and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Pro Fusion physiotherapists work on exercises to strengthen and restore full range of motion.
It is important to follow a regimen of exercises that can be accomplished at home as well to strengthen and increase function in the injured area. Muscle and massage therapy help with muscle mobilization and to ease stiffness. Pain management includes electrical nerve stimulation as well as acupuncture to stimulate healing. Ultrasound is also useful for treating soft tissue injuries.
3. Headache and Concussion
Headaches are common symptoms of car crashes whether associated with concussion or not and are grouped in the cervicogenic and migraine class. In fact, concussion, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), can occur with or without impact. They can be the result of a direct hit or from violent shaking of the head and neck. Your Pro Fusion physiotherapist will work to resolve symptoms through treating the brain injury. This requires proper guidance through the steps to resume normal activities. Treatment includes addressing muscle tension of the cervical area to alleviate pain, stiffness of movement and muscle weakness.
Symptoms of concussion include confusion, memory loss surrounding the time of the injury, foggy thinking, double vision, dizziness, poor coordination, slurred speech and loss of consciousness. A program of muscle relaxation and manual therapy are useful in reducing pain. Delayed symptoms include difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, attention deficits, anxiety and depression. Your Milton or Pickering physiotherapist may also refer patients to other health professionals, if necessary.
4. Back Pain
Pain in the back is one of the most common car accident injuries that cause for the need of car accident rehab. If symptoms are ignored or treatment is delayed, constant pain can develop to varying degrees and stiffness may increase. An experienced physiotherapist can properly assess your symptoms and provide the appropriate treatment, pain management and advise going forward. What if you end up dealing with a fracture, a prolapsed disc, a nerve root compression or a facet joint impingement?
Your symptoms could include the sensation of pins and needles, numbness in the lower limbs, feet or buttocks, pain radiating down the back or along the front of the leg, severe pain when bending forward, excessive stiffness, shoulder pain or stiffness in the lower back. Delayed symptoms only make things worse and may become a chronic condition. Pro Fusion Rehab physiotherapy is ideal for appropriate exercises, self-treatment techniques, correct advise and treating mechanical back pain.
5. Abdominal Pain or Swelling
Other delayed car accident injuries symptoms you do not want to ignore after a car crash are abdominal pain or swelling. With or without a seat belt, it is important to get checked for internal injury to the soft tissue or internal bleeding. If stomach pain persists for hours or days following an impact, you could require emergency attention.
Since the prime focus of physiotherapy is to restore function, getting an immediate assessment and diagnosis of any car accident injuries or problems is the first step in planning and administering an effective treatment program to achieve that end. Swelling and inflammation are most common following accident injuries. Delayed symptoms can cause long-term damage limiting mobility and function or end up producing a chronic condition for which there is no cure. The longer one delays treatment, the more difficult it can be to achieve successful car accident rehab.