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Post Motor Vehicle Physical Therapy


Most motor vehicle accidents result in a “Whiplash” injury or hyper flexion-extension of the head on the neck. Most often injuries incurred are soft tissue injuries (muscle strain, ligament sprain and tendon strain).  In some cases discs and nerve injury can occur as well as lumbosacral injuries.


Studies done on autopsies have demonstrated significant muscle and subdermal microbleeding occurs. This explains the typical latent effect of pain, stiffness and soreness after these accidents. Because of the velocity of impact is greater than any other type of injury we see, the amount of strain and sprain is more extensive.


You should always be assessed by a physician to eliminate the presence of fractures, concussion or instabilities.

“I Was in a car accident and the physician says my neck and back are stable. What should I do?”

  • Ice for 20 minutes every hour for the first 24 hours.

  • Avoid lifting and prolonged static postures (i.e. sitting at the computer)

  • See your Physical Therapist 5-7 days after the accident. In the mean time continue to ice for 20 minutes frequently.


Once you arrive for your initial Physical Therapy visit you will go through an extensive orthopedic spine assessment and we will begin the process of beginning your rehabilitation treatment.

Common complaints after a motor vehicle accident


  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Back pain

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Feeling of your head feeling heavy

  • Feeling that holding your head forward feels better (for a little while)

  • No pain until the next day

  • Arm or leg pain

  • Wrist pain

  • Chest pain (from the seat belt)


Our Physical Therapist specialize in reducing your pain, restoring range of motion, restoring normal posture, providing you with exercises that will speed your rate of recovery and minimizing the risk of long standing problems.  Seeing us early in the process is most beneficial to prevent compensatory postures, muscle contractures and joint restrictions that can prolong your recovery.

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