At Mount Prospect Health Center, we provide physical therapy to promote mobility, strengthening, and increased functioning while eliminating pain. Some of the physical therapy techniques used in our practice are manual therapy, massage, heat or cold therapy, and therapeutic exercises.

During your first visit, our physical therapist will do a thorough examination of your condition and will help you establish your goals to develop a treatment plan that will work with you.

Our goal is to combine both therapies (chiropractic and physical therapy) to help reduce your pain while improving your mobility so that you can perform your daily activities.

We treat a range of conditions, including those caused by auto accidents. Some of the conditions we treat are:

  • ACL injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Auto Accident Injuries
  • Bursitis/tendonitis (shoulder)
  • Compression fractures
  • Dislocation, instability (shoulder)
  • Elbow pain
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Frozen shoulder/adhesive capsulitis
  • Headaches
  • Knee pain
  • Knee sprain/strain
  • Labrum tear
  • Low back pain
  • Meniscal injury
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Post-surgery rehab (shoulder) fractures
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder pain
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Sprain/strain (shoulder)
  • Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Trochanteric bursitis

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy refers to care aimed at helping improve your function, movement, and overall quality of life. Physical therapy is commonly used to improve ability or mobility, recover from or prevent injuries, relieve pain, rehab following an accident, manage a chronic illness, work on balance, and more.

Assessments for Physical Therapy

Before a physical therapist develops a treatment plan to help you regain mobility and reduce pain, they will always evaluate you. This typically involves tests that look at several different factors.

Tests to assess your movement are among the most important and include checking how easy it is for you to move around, including grasping, reaching, and bending, as well as climbing stairs or walking. Your physical therapist will also likely assess your balance or posture and your heartbeat during exercise.

This assessment helps ensure that the physical therapist can work towards your goals without pushing you too far, as that could make the problem worse or cause other issues.

Treatments Used in Physical Therapy

The treatments involved in physical therapy can vary slightly based on your goals and condition. They commonly include stretches or light exercises your therapist guides you through. Therapies can also include cold, hot, warm water, ultrasound, or massage therapy to ease muscle spasms or pain.

If you need to learn to use an assistive device, like a walker or cane, physical therapy can help you learn how to do so, focusing on giving you practice so you can stay balanced while moving. If your injuries required you to get an artificial limb, physical therapy could also get you used to use that limb.

You should expect physical therapy to include management techniques that you should use at home, such as using heat or ice or completing certain exercises or stretches.

Physical therapy is also commonly used in conjunction with other treatments, such as chiropractic. 

Physical Therapy Benefits

For most people, the primary benefit of physical therapy is either improved movement and mobility or pain management, the latter of which would be without the need for (or less of a need for) opioids. In some cases, physical therapy can help prevent the need for surgery.

Physical therapy can also help with recovery from injury, trauma, paralysis, and stroke, as well as improve balance, prevent falls, and maximize athletic performance.

Common Types of Auto Accident Injuries

One of the most common reasons that people require physical therapy is due to car accidents. Remember that about three million people get injured in car accidents in the United States each year. The therapy can help with rehabilitation after breaking a bone, help reduce pain from whiplash or other injuries, improve mobility from injuries caused by accident, and more. The following are some of the most common types of injuries from auto accidents.

Physical therapy can assist with recovery in all cases, sometimes immediately and at times, after other recoveries, such as healing a broken bone, takes place. Remember that any injury with a long recovery time is likely to require physical therapy afterward. The muscles and joints will not have moved normally during that recovery and will need to regain their functionality.

Whiplash

Whiplash refers to the injuries to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments that occur in an auto accident. This injury typically comes from the rapid movements that your body undergoes in a collision. The vehicle stops suddenly and bumps into another object or car. The speed at which the body moves in a crash frequently strains soft tissues and muscles even when it does not break bones. Whiplash can be incredibly painful and require time and therapy to heal.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are common in car accidents, including traumatic brain injuries. These can lead to long-term issues like sleeping problems, headaches, and brain function problems if you do not receive proper treatment. Brain injuries are hard to diagnose and tend to require a higher level of treatment. This is one of the injuries in which physical therapy is likely to come into play later in the recovery process.

Broken Ribs

Your ribs are incredibly fragile, so even a moderate or even light impact can break them. If you are pushed suddenly in any direction during a car accident, you may break your ribs. This particular broken bone is painful and requires long recovery and rest. Physical therapy can help provide safe, comfortable movements to complete during that rest, and help you regain your conditioning after the ribs heal.

Broken Bones

Ribs are far from the only bone that can break during a car accident. Arms, legs, shoulders, and hips are also commonly broken due to the force exerted on your body. Few bones have as long and slow as the recovery process is needed for the ribs. However, you will still need treatment, rest, and therapy to regain mobility and functionality and relieve the pain.

Herniated Discs

A variation of broken bones that can occur in a car accident is a herniated disc. This happens if a vertebra (or more than one) in your spine moves out of place or ruptures. This injury can lead to severe pain and various complications if not addressed.

Trauma to Knees 

Even if bones like your knees do not break during the car accident, you may experience trauma to your limbs. For example, your knees hitting the dashboard can hurt your kneecap and ligament. This can result in the need for crutches, braces, or surgery, even if there are no broken bones. Trauma to your knees can also cause walking problems and hurt your mobility.

Chest Injuries 

A chest injury is another common type of trauma from a car accident that incorporates some elements of other injuries on this list. It can include broken bones or internal bleeding, but it may also include bruises or contusions. This type of injury is particularly common among drivers as they slam into the steering wheel. Even seat belts can cause bruising due to the abrupt stop.

Internal Bleeding

Some car accidents can cause internal bleeding, something which can be incredibly dangerous if not taken care of right away. Internal bleeding can require a lengthy recovery time.

Cuts and Scrapes

It is also common for those in car accidents to get scrapes or cuts. These can be caused by the impact with the other car or from items moving around in your vehicle. Depending on their severity, cuts and scrapes can get infected or lead to other problems. 

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy is one of several treatments that can be given, whether following one of the country’s six million car accidents that occur each year or to recover from another type of injury or condition.

Physical Therapy Can Restore Motion

Perhaps the best-known way physical therapy can help following an auto collision is to aid motion restoration.

Physical Therapy Can Relieve Pain

Having physical therapy done can also help decrease your need for painkillers by reducing your pain. The pain reduction comes from building up your natural strength and working to reduce the soreness associated with specific movements.

Physical Therapy Can Strengthen Muscles

Because it is a light form of exercise, physical therapy also helps strengthen your muscles while simultaneously improving your range of motion. By regaining your strength, you will find yourself on the road to recovery more quickly.

Physical Therapy Is Not Invasive

One of the best things about physical therapy compared to other treatment options is that it is non-invasive. While other non-invasive treatments may be available for some issues, that is not always the case. In many cases, physical therapy can be used as an alternative to surgery. Strengthening vulnerable ligaments, tendons, and muscles during treatment will protect structures in your body and reduce the need for future surgery. This is why many doctors suggest physical therapy before recommending surgery.

Physical Therapy Can Speed up Recovery

In addition to the previously mentioned ways in which physical therapy speeds up recovery, such as breaking down scar tissue, it also does so by helping you remain mobile. Keep in mind that people who stay active following an accident tend to recover more quickly compared to those who rest all day. By improving your mobility, physical therapy helps you stay active to speed up your recovery. 

Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Posture

Pain in the shoulders, back, and neck is common following a car accident. Physical therapy can help with all of these by improving your posture. In many cases, physical therapy includes posture training.

Physical Therapy Can Include Manual Therapy 

The manual therapy that is included in physical therapy can help reduce inflammation, decrease scar tissue, and mobilize your joints. All these help promote the healing of your tissues.

Physical Therapy Can Prevent Further Damage

As physical therapy strengthens your muscles and improves your mobility, having this treatment following a car accident can also help prevent future injuries. After all, you are at a higher risk of falling or straining yourself if your muscles are weak or you cannot move fully.

Physical Therapy Can Even Help Long After a Car Accident 

It is always ideal to have physical therapy as soon as possible following a car accident to speed up your recovery and get the most benefit. Apart from this, physical therapy can help with old injuries from car accidents. Light exercises and other elements of the therapy can help with mobility and function at nearly any point after the accident. Do not put it off, though, if you want to minimize pain and avoid other complications.

Call (973) 485-2332 today to schedule your appointment with an experienced physical therapist in Newark, NJ. We accept most insurance plans, including NJ PIP, for auto accident injuries. We also offer chiropractic care in our Newark location. Same-Day appointments may be available; call us today!