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Is There More Than One Type Of Physical Therapy For Accident Victims?

If you’re in a car accident, you may experience minor or severe injuries depending on the force of impact. But what you may not realize is that your recovery isn’t a cut-and-dried process. Your physician may employ several modalities to help you recover.

Today, our accident care team at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel explains the types of physical therapy we may use when treating after-accident injuries.

After an Accident: What Happens Next?

Following any accident, no matter how minor, we always recommend people seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because many injuries such as whiplash, concussions, and internal injuries take time to manifest, but if caught early, we can treat them sooner than if you had waited to be seen by a doctor.

So, the first step is to visit a doctor. The next step is their evaluation, and then treatment.

Treatment may include different types of therapy including:

  • Chiropractic Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychotherapy

Let’s take a closer look at each!

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic treatments fall into two groups—modalities and manipulations.

  • Manipulation: The act of a chiropractor manually adjusting your joints, which helps minimize inflammation, pain, and restores mobility.
  • Modalities: These are treatments that are used to adjust the joints including spinal traction, heat, electric nerve stimulation, and ultrasound.

Essentially, chiropractic care helps align your spine, thus relieving some of the pain caused by misalignments after an accident. Manual chiropractic treatments use controlled force to re-adjust the vertebrae in the spine, preventing them from putting pressure on your spinal nerves.

Note: Though chiropractic care can help you feel better, it often requires several treatments to feel complete relief following an accident.

Physical Therapy

The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to increase mobility and flexibility after an accident. This fosters greater strength, function, and range of motion.

We recommend physical therapy, in many forms, after:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Nerve inflammation
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Fractured or broken bones

The kind of physical therapy we suggest will depend on the type of injury. Some techniques we may employ include:

  • Therapeutic Exercise: Exercises and movements designed to improve strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance.
  • Manual Therapy: Include hands-on techniques that mobilize joints, improve joint mobility, and manipulate soft tissues.
  • Electrotherapy: Uses electrical stimulation to relieve pain, promote healing, and enhance muscle function.
  • Heat or Cold Therapy: The use of heat or cold can reduce pain and inflammation in the body after an accident.
  • Hydrotherapy: Exercises done in the water lessen the strain on the joints and muscles.
  • Ultrasound: This therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to generate heat deep within the body’s tissues. It is used to encourage tissue healing, improve overall blood flow, and reduce pain.

In the context of accidents, whiplash is a common injury that can cause many uncomfortable symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, neck and shoulder pain, and decreased range of motion. The good news is that physical therapy is quite effective for treating whiplash.

When someone comes to us with whiplash we:

  • Test for neurological issues
  • Rehabilitate eye control and balance
  • Share exercises and stretches to combat pain, enhance range of motion, and improve posture

Occupational Therapy

If an accident or injury impacts your day-to-day life, occupational therapy can be greatly beneficial. Your therapist will help you regain the skills that are inhibited by your injury, helping you return to work and have an overall better quality of life.

This type of therapy is often needed when a patient has suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, a severely broken leg, paralysis, or amputation.


After an accident, your injuries may not be all physical. You could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues due to the trauma of an accident.

A psychotherapist can help alleviate anxious thoughts and sadness, essentially getting a patient back on track following a car crash.

Call Impact Medical Wesley Chapel

Recover and heal from car accident injuries with the help of Impact Medical Wesley Chapel. With a skilled team of chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, and psychotherapists, we can help you get back to living the life that an accident robbed you of.

Don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with our compassionate team today at (813) 953-1002!