The Benefits of Physical Therapy After a Car Accident

Most Americans will experience a car accident at some point in their lives, either as drivers or passengers. According to Forbes Advisor, over 1.5 million car accidents resulting in injury occurred in 2020. Navesink Rehab in Red Bank, NJ, knows that physical therapy after a car accident can benefit patients in many ways, both physically and mentally.

Car accidents are more than a moving vehicle hitting another object. There are several layers to every accident, and that’s what makes the recovery process so tricky. As the car hits the other object, the people inside may experience two types of impact.

The first involves hitting the dashboard, seatbelt, or steering wheel. This type of collision often causes bruising, whiplash, and other external injuries. The second is when a driver’s or passenger’s organs hit their bones, causing internal injuries that may not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident.

There are several benefits to receiving physical therapy in Red Bank, NJ, after a car accident. This post will discuss a few of them and when to seek out physical therapy.

Aid the Recovery Process

Even a minor car accident may cause pain, chronic headache, and decreased range of motion, which could interrupt your daily activities. More serious car accidents could prevent you from returning to work and require a targeted recovery plan to restore your quality of life. 

A physical therapist will work with you to address any issues you experience after a car accident and give you a set of rehabilitation exercises to complete at home between appointments. Physical therapy helps you make small changes over time as you work toward recovery. 

Prevent Lasting Injury

Even if your car accident injuries heal themselves over time, you could have secondary injuries that persist and interrupt your life without physical therapy. A study from the Asian Journal of Neurosurgery indicates that spinal injuries are very common after a car accident, with drivers making up 89% of such cases. 

Physical therapy can prevent lasting injuries by treating symptoms present immediately after the accident. Pain from untreated injuries could result in time off work, preventing you from participating in the hobbies and sports that make life worth living. 

Avoid Potential Surgery

Your body may start overcompensating for injuries by changing how you sit, stand, or walk. The more your muscles and ligaments overwork themselves to make up for deficiencies in other bodily areas, the more likely they are to develop permanent damage that only surgery can fix. Not only will you face mounting medical bills, but you will also have to spend time away from work as you recover.

Physical therapy rebuilds strength in your muscles, preventing secondary injuries as your body overcompensates for the initial shock of the accident. Although physical therapy is a more gradual process, it offers the advantage of being a non-invasive treatment, meaning you won’t face any significant downtime like you would after surgery.

Reduce Chronic Pain

When you’re in a lot of pain, you may feel like the best thing to do is stay still while your muscles heal. It may surprise you to learn that regular movement can reduce pain and improve joint mobilization as you recover. When beginning physical therapy after a car accident, your specialist will guide you through a gentle routine, increasing intensity as you improve over the ensuing weeks or months. 

Physical therapy can even replace oral medication as a pain management tool for some patients.

Provide Relief From Old Injuries

If you were in a severe car accident, you may suffer from pain and mobility loss for a long time after that. Even if you don’t search “physical therapy near me” immediately after an accident, you can benefit from treatment if some time has passed. Delayed injuries often become apparent days after an accident, which is why you should always request a medical evaluation, even if you feel fine immediately after the accident. 

Physical therapy can help improve cardiovascular function through muscle strengthening and toning exercises. It can even provide relief from soft tissue injuries like tendonitis. 

When To Seek Out Physical Therapy

Car accidents cause obvious injuries, like contusions and whiplash, but they also cause secondary problems that could linger and disrupt your life even if you get a physical evaluation after the accident. You may not realize going to physical therapy could provide relief. Common post-accident problems physical therapy can help include:

  • Decreased range of motion that never improves after your accident
  • Lingering exhaustion no matter how much you sleep.
  • Inability to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time
  • Chronic headaches that began after the accident
  • Chronic insomnia that began after the accident

These symptoms are common in the weeks and months after a car accident. If untreated, they may grow worse in the coming months. Physical therapy can diminish the above and other symptoms you may have after a car accident.

Relieve Car Accident Injury Pain With Physical Therapy

There are many benefits to getting physical therapy after a car accident. It can reduce pain and prevent the chance of lasting injuries or surgery in the future.

Navesink Rehab provides auto accident injury treatment in Red Bank, NJ.

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.


How long does physical therapy take for whiplash?

It could take up to three months of physical therapy to fully recover from whiplash. Each patient recovers at their own rate, so the timeline will vary from person to person.

Should I start physical therapy immediately after a car accident? 

To see the most benefit, start physical therapy immediately after a car accident. Delaying treatment could worsen injuries and make your recovery time last longer.

What types of injuries require physical therapy after a car accident?

There are many injuries that require physical therapy after a car accident, including those to the hip, back, neck, and shoulders.