Auto Accident Injury Treatment

Car Accident Injury & Whiplash Treatment

Car Accident Injury Physical Therapy

Initial medical treatment for a typical auto accident injuries consists of painkillers and a neck brace. However, this does little to actually repair the underlying injury. Physical Therapy is the primary method for repairing and strengthening damaged tissue. Regardless of the severity of the injury, you will benefit from a physical therapy program.

Fortunately for those in the Portland OR area, Donna Gramont, PT, MOMT, OCS of New Heights Physical Therapy Plus has over 20 years of training and experience with these types of injuries.

Types of Car Accident Injuries

There are many types of injuries caused by car accidents, all of which should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.

Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Scrapes, cuts, and bruising
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Broken ribs, arms, legs, or shoulders
  • Burns
  • Head injuries, such as concussions
  • Herniated discs or other spine damage
  • Knee injuries

Woman with pain from whiplash & auto accident injury When Do I Start Treatment for Car Accident Soreness?

You can begin physical therapy anytime. However, it is highly recommended to begin physical therapy within one week following an auto accident. Failure to receive proper treatment after a car accident could result in long-term issues.

People tend to only focus on the muscles and joints when rehabilitating whiplash, even though more than muscles and joints are damaged by this injury. Whiplash often damages the neurological systems that control balance and how your eyes move. Research shows that people who do not recover properly from whiplash often have damage to these systems.

 

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Certain levels of pain may be experienced hours, days, or even weeks after you get in a car accident. Even if you walk away from the accident thinking you haven’t been injured, symptoms can show up at any time. It’s important to receive medical attention for any symptoms, as they may be worse than you believe and should be treated before they get worse. Some common symptoms to expect after a car accident include soreness, stiffness, neck and shoulder pain, abdominal pain, numbness, bruising, back pain, and, most commonly, headaches or migraines.

Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your head suddenly moves back-and-forth in a rapid motion. The pain can be mild to severe and can develop within days of your injury. You may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Numbness
  • Problems with vision
  • Neck stiffness and soreness
  • Difficulty moving head or neck
  • Pain in the shoulder area
  • Pain down the arm to the hand

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you’ll want to get treated sooner rather than later to help prevent long term effects. Contact us, we have a location in Vancouver and another in East Portland for your convenience.

What do you do for Whiplash?

We use the Cervical-Ocular Vestibular System (COV) designed by our own Physical Therapist Donna Gramont, PT, MOMT, OCS for our whiplash patients. This system uses a laser and headgear to test and pinpoint problems to your neurological system and helps rehabilitate your balance, sensation, and eye control which can be affected by whiplash.

We like to start whiplash rehabilitation exercises and COV treatments within a week or two of your whiplash injury, but we’ve even seen progress with patients who’ve suffered whiplash symptoms for a long time.

Muscles & Joint Rehabilitation

During treatment, our physical therapists will provide exercises and gentle motions that will help minimize pain while improving posture control, neck rotation, and range of motion. As the body heals an injured area, new tissues develop, and movement is the best way to ensure the new tissues develop successfully.

Balance Rehabilitation

Specialized head gear worn by our patients points a laser to large patterns on the wall, and patients move their eyes and head to direct the laser through prescribed exercises. After continually performing these exercises, your oculomotor and vestibular systems recover from your injury.

Eye Control Rehabilitation

Common complaints of a whiplash injury include dizziness, difficulty reading, and problems with vision. Because whiplash affects the system responsible for how your eyes move, it is important to also consider this when getting physical therapy for whiplash. Our physical therapists have the tools and knowledge to help you fully recover from your car accident injury.

Can Whiplash Cause Long Term Problems?

Yes, whiplash can cause long term problems. Some of the long term effects of a whiplash injury include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Chronic pain
  • Numbness in the legs, arms, and hands
  • Memory issues
  • Concentration problems
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Bouts of dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches

This is why it’s important to address and treat your whiplash injury as soon as you experience symptoms, even if they’re minor.

Nationwide, an estimated 1/3 of people who suffer whiplash injuries continue to have symptoms even three years after their accidents. Additionally, in a study of 100 people who were rear-ended in an auto accident, 14% of those people still had significant pain after 8 years!

Therefore, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to start your immediate recovery. Home remedies and pain medication are only temporary solutions that do not properly or fully heal the injured site, but physical therapy can ensure a complete and healthy recovery from auto injuries and whiplash.

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident or have suffered whiplash and are seeking treatment, contact us today. We strive to create the ideal healing environment for our patients and we’re dedicated to helping our patients recover by providing exceptional care. We offer in-person appointments and telehealth appointments.

Call to schedule your free consultation today! At New Heights Physical Therapy, we strive to create the ideal healing environment for our patients. Our team is dedicated to helping patients recover by providing exceptional care.

Auto Accident Injury Treatment in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas:

SE Portland | NE Portland | Gresham | Happy Valley | Clackamas | Milwaukie | Mt Tabor | Belmont | Lloyd Center | Laurelhurst | Hollywood District | Downtown Portland | Beaverton | Tigard | Hillsboro | Cedar Mill | Cornell | Sylvan | Cedar Hills

Downtown Vancouver | Fruit Valley | Hazel Dell | Felida | Cascade Park | Camas Washington

East PDX:
(503) 236-3108
Vancouver:
(360) 737-3346