On the Road to Recovery after Motor Vehicle Accident
A few years ago, after nearly twenty years working as a Physiotherapist treating people who had been injured in a motor vehicle accident, I was injured (and my car totaled) in an auto accident. Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for some 20 to 50 million injuries worldwide, many of these leading to lasting pain and disability. As a Physiotherapist, I knew that injuries that occur in that split second can take months or years to heal, but my experience made me realize the full extent to which life can change in that moment. Navigating care following an accident can be daunting but you have a choice. Many insurance companies will steer you towards their Preferred Provider clinics but you have a choice to get care at a clinic that works for you. We hope that by choosing Skye Health you will be on the road to recovery and back to your best life with care and support tailored for your needs.
Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries in London, ON
I’ve come to realize that it is not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed as they try to navigate the road to recovery after an accident. In hindsight, I realize that some of the decisions I made were clouded by the mild concussion that I sustained during my accident. As a self-employed Physiotherapist, I decided to return to work immediately which likely prolonged my post-concussion symptoms. A couple of days of rest seemed out of the question as a busy business owner, mother, and spouse. At Skye Health our therapists realize that every patient has multiple demands in their lives - spouse, parent, caregiver, employee, boss, team-mate, friend etc. and having injuries can make all aspects of life more challenging.
Our experienced and collaborative team can clear the road for you to focus on getting better. Physiotherapists can assess the extent of your injuries, determine how those may be impacting sleep, life, work sports etc, and tailor a treatment plan to you. Treatment may include manual therapy, massage therapy, dry needling, exercise, home exercise, education and a range of group classes. Our Massage, Physiotherapy and Movement Therapists all collaborate together. And our experienced Administrative team can assist with paperwork, billing and insurance issues.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause a large range of injuries. Accidents that occur at high-velocity speeds can cause severe fractures and head injuries such as concussions. However, even lower velocity accidents can cause painful injuries that at first may be overlooked. At Skye Health some common motor vehicle accident injuries we treat at our London Physiotherapy clinic:
- Commonly seen after being rear-ended, whiplash involves the soft tissues of the neck being forcibly exerted in forward, backward, and even sideways motions. The after effects can include a stiff and tender neck that is difficult to move. Pain can radiate to the shoulders and cause muscle spasms and headaches.
- Depending on the nature and severity of the crash, back pain can stem from muscle, ligament, bone, or disc damage. Sometimes it’s all of the above. Damage to these structures can cause mild to severe pain, and difficulty bending over or changing positions, which can ultimately lead to a decrease in mobility.
- With bones in even our smallest appendages, there’s a significant chance of fractures in motor vehicle accidents. The first line of treatment is to immobilize the fracture and set the bone to heal properly. Physical therapy is vital in restoring mobility and strength to newly healed fractures and their related musculature.
- Concussions are caused by any high impact that causes the brain to rapidly accelerate and decelerate within the skull. This shearing force causes the nerve fibers in the brain to stretch. While concussions are not seen on MRI or CT scans, their effects can be seen through various symptoms such as headache, dizziness, loss of coordination, nausea, fogginess, ringing in ears, seeing “flashing lights” or “stars”, etc. It is important to be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible and follow up with a trained concussion management provider who can help lay out treatment management recommendations.
Treatment Options for Motor Vehicle Accidents
The scope of Physiotherapy is vast and the benefits even more so. The sooner your body gets moving again after a motor vehicle accident, the sooner you can recover. Recovery involves gradual phases, and a good Rehab team can assist you through each phase and help you to move on to the next. At Skye Health our team includes Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists, Yoga, and Pilates Practitioners. We consider each and every patient and their unique history and goals when we create a treatment program. Treatment services for motor vehicle accidents in London, ON:
- Performed by a trained physiotherapist who utilizes their hands to stretch, manipulate and/or mobilize the spinal column structures and affected joints. The purpose or goal is to relieve pain and improve mobility and function
- Performed by a Registered Massage Therapist who utilizes their hands to treat the “soft tissues” muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Massage therapy can stimulate the body’s natural healing ability and improves general health by increasing circulation, decreasing stress, and improving relaxation.
- Electrotherapy involves the use of mild electrical currents to the affected area to relieve pain, increase muscle strength and improve circulation, thus aiding in repairing any damaged tissue. Some units are quite small and battery operated, transmitting the electric pulses via adhesive electrode pads that adhere to the skin.
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)/Dry Needling
- This treatment is based in Western medicine and is intended to treat pain specific to myofascial structures. Muscles that are injured or distressed are generally tight from contraction. This affects the pH of muscles and their blood flow. After a thorough assessment of the patient, a trained physical therapist will use acupuncture needles and place them on certain trigger points, sometimes at the center of the taut muscle or near the spine where nerves may be oversensitized. The purpose is to relieve pain by stimulating the distressed muscle to relax, to increase circulation, and to stimulate an electrical response for healthy nerve function.
Rehab Pilates and Yoga
- Pilates is a method of body training that specifically builds core strength, flexibility, and overall muscle strength. It also improves posture and body awareness. With Rehab Pilates, you are under the supervision of a trained Pilates specialist who will help you focus on core stabilization and movement retraining. The end result includes increased flexibility, mobility, and agility. A gentle Mindfulness Yoga class that incorporates movement, stretches and breathing practice can be helpful for managing stress, pain, and anxiety, improving strength and flexibility, and finding a sense of ease in the mind and body.
- This is performed by trained Physiotherapist who assesses a patient’s baseline condition and develops a personalized treatment plan. Recommendations within the treatment plan may include physical therapy for associated neck pain, rest strategies, ways to modify work or school activities, and specific recovery methods to manage concussion side effects.
Navigating care after you are injured in a motor vehicle accident can be daunting. Having the experience of being on the other side, and sustaining injuries in an accident with my car a total write-off, I realize how overwhelming it can be to take care of your health while organizing insurance paperwork, repairing/replacing a vehicle, and continuing the demands of life. At Skye Health our team, from our caring and experienced Administrators to our Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Yoga and Pilates practitioners, can help take care of the details, create an integrated plan, and utilize your time and resources most effectively and get you quickly on the road to recovery.
A doctor’s referral is not required to see our therapists at Skye Health. While most auto insurance companies may have specific facility ‘Preferred Providers’, it is the patient’s choice as to where they will receive treatment. If you have any questions, please contact us at Skye Health. Our team of trained professionals is ready to help you get back to an active and pain-free life!
We hope that you choose Skye Health!