How long should I go to Physiotherapy after a car accident?
It’s not easy to move on physically or mentally after having an injury caused due to a car accident. You could have been the driver, a passenger or even a pedestrian.
From dealing with your insurance company, lording your claim, seeing your GP, managing repairs, hunting down a new car, or even tackling legal matters, the idea of making time to do Physiotherapy is probably down the list of things to do.
However, your health should always be a priority. Seeing your GP and starting Physiotherapy after your car accident will not only help with any lingering pains but also prevent future complications from arising.
Healing From a Car Accident: How Long Should You Be Going to Physiotherapy?
The short answer would be: it depends on your case.
We know that it might be frustrating to hear that, but the truth of the matter is that different people will need to visit their Physiotherapist for different amounts of time and frequencies.
For instance, if you’re dealing with a case of whiplash, it might be affecting you a bit differently in comparison to another person suffering from the same condition.
Moreover, car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, and they can also come in complex forms. They can range from broken bones to soft tissue injuries.
Physiotherapists use hands on techniques to reduce pain, stiffness and tightness without having to use pain medications. Unless it’s a more complex injury such as: broken or fractured bones, Physiotherapy is rather limited until your bones have fully healed. This —in turn— brings us back to our timeline.
Range of Motion and Pain Management
If you’re dealing with broken bones, you may have a rough time moving around and getting back your normal range of motion, especially after wearing a cast for 6 weeks. However, your GP and Physiotherapy will work closely to make the process as seamless for you as possible.
Pain meds and muscle relaxers can provide temporary relief from pain, but they’re meant to a short-term solution. By the time your bones have healed, you might start noticing other issues and pains and stiff muscles and joints popping up.
More likely than not, many patients feel few (if any) symptoms right after a car accident. Only after days or even weeks do they develop clear symptoms of other injuries and sensitivities from the car accident.
Depending on your case, it may take weeks or months for Physiotherapy to help your body gain back its regular range of motion, and for your car accident injuries to fully heal.
That’s where discipline becomes essential to achieve a full recovery. You’ll have to go to your Physiotherapy appointments like clockwork. These appointments may range from once or three times a week according to the severity of your injuries. Normally, as your symptoms start to ease, the frequency of appointments also decrease an increased time frame between appointments.
Why You Should Get Physiotherapy (And Keep up With Your Appointments)
In general, there are numerous benefits of Physiotherapy after a car accident as outlined above. But, in the aftermath of car accidents, some of these benefits are compounded.
Supports the Recovery Process
As we mentioned before, the actual depth and breadth of your car accident-related injuries won’t fully emerge until you’re starting to get back to your daily routines and normal activities. This can be days of weeks after your injury. It’s super important to see your GP within 28 days of your car accident and lodge your claim with your insurance company. This is called a CTP claim.
You’ll start dealing with stiffness, reduced range of motion, and some head-related pains, like headaches and migraines. In addition, you might start experiencing back pains and aches.
In order to tackle these injuries (and not just numb yourself to the pain with painkillers), it’s critical to undergo Physiotherapy as it’ll aid with the recovery process. It’ll help increase your strength, improve your flexibility, and manage your pain symptoms.
Prevents Long-Term Complications
There is dealing with immediate pains, and there’s dealing with chronic pain for the rest of your life.
What’s heartbreaking about a car accident is its ability to cause permanent damage in a split of a second. However, getting into Physiotherapy can prevent long-term damage like chronic pain and migraines from haunting you.
The reason why some of the damage sustained after a car accident becomes permanent is the lack of care and immediate medical attention right after the accident.
These problem areas will stay under the radar unless you proactively look for them in the short-term. Otherwise, they’ll pop up when you least expect them, years down the road.
Reduces Pain by Keeping You Physically Active
We know that one of the last things you want to do after a car accident is to move around. However, you’d be surprised by how effective being physically active can be with reducing pain.
As it were, moving gets your oxygenated blood (and other nutrients) to your injured areas faster and with higher quantities. This helps bolster your body’s efforts in healing itself. With every stretch and exercise you do, your body starts getting used to a wider set of motion and function.
All of that accumulates into achieving a well-balanced state, which —in turn— will help you reach complete recovery. Speak to a Physiotherapist before starting any form of exercise after your car accident.
Who Pays For Physiotherapy After A Car Accident?
In Australia, a motor vehicle cannot be registered for use on the roads unless you first take out Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP). Regardless of who was at fault, full medical coverage is available for the first six months of your accident.
Depending on the complexity of the car accident, who was at fault, if it is being considered a major or a minor accident, there will be other benefits you may be eligible for. This is something the insurance company will discuss with you at the time of lodgement.
Ready to Take Care of Yourself?
For more information on how we can further assist you, please call our clinic number on 0479 080 800 or send us an email on admin [email protected] for further details. Our Physiotherapists are Medicare, NDIS, DVA and Work Cover approved, specialising in injury management and rehabilitation to get you back on track.