If you’ve dealt with a serious injury recently, you might be looking for ways to help alleviate the pain and find a new normal. You’re not alone. You might be looking for some physical therapy benefits after your time healing with a doctor.
Every 7 seconds a worker is injured on the job. With just workplace injuries alone, that’s a huge number of people who might end up needing help getting back on their feet. That doesn’t take into account any other kind of injury, like auto injuries, or just random happenstance.
A serious injury can be lifechanging, but it doesn’t have to be life-ruining. If you’re struggling to readjust to your new situation there are people who can help you. You might need a physical therapist. There are so many physical therapy benefits and it’s a great way to transition more easily back into good health.
If you’re unfamiliar with physical therapy or what it can do for you, don’t worry. It can be a little bit confusing, but we’re here to help.
Read on to learn a little bit more about physical therapy after an accident and how it can help you get back to living your best and most fulfilling life.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a specialty within the healthcare field. It deals with recovery from physically traumatic accidents.
Physical therapists aim to help their patients live full and mobile lives through a variety of training techniques and modalities.
Physical therapists are well-trained professionals. The majority of modern physical therapists have doctorate degrees in their field. They know what to look for and the best practices to bring mobility and functionality back to their clients.
They often operate as a part of a whole treatment team. After your injury is “healed” or stabilized by a doctor, a physical therapist assesses your specific situation and condition. From there, they work with you on a personalized plan to help get you back on your feet and moving towards your personal goals.
A physical therapist can also work with you to make sure that you don’t accrue further injuries from the one that you already have. Physical therapy can be preventative as well as healing.
Physical therapy is an essential part of the healing process, and many of the benefits of physical therapy can’t be achieved through normal stabilizing healthcare alone. If you want to get back to your old way of life, even with more limited functionality, a physical therapist is the healthcare professional that you’re looking for.
What Kind of Injuries Can Physical Therapy Treat?
A lot of different people can benefit from physical therapy, and there are many automobile and work-related injuries that call for physical therapy as an ideal healing mechanism. Even if your specific injury isn’t mentioned, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t qualify. A physical therapist can assess your situation to see if they’re able to help you return to a better quality of life.
Physical therapy can treat, among other things:
- Excessive joint pain
- Pain suffered from whiplash injuries
- Pain from spinal injuries
- Sports injuries
- Pain suffered from auto accidents
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
Some of these injuries have subcategories containing other injuries within them. If you’re not sure if you fit within one of these categories, seeking out a consultation with a physical therapist is a great first step towards healing.
Is Physical Therapy The Right Choice For You?
If you’ve suffered a traumatic injury, you might be in need of physical therapy if you want to get back to full mobility, or at least a fuller quality of life.
The healing process doesn’t end after you leave the hospital bed, and seeking out a qualified physical therapist can dramatically change your pain levels.
Physical therapy is all about support during and after the recovery process, and that support can be essential to making sure that you stay recovered.
Sometimes, after you’re done with the initial part of the recovery process, you feel like you’re completely healed. Maybe you have painkilling medication to help ease your entry back into “the real world”, or maybe you’ve accepted the residual soreness as just a part of life.
In reality, there’s a lot more healing left to be done. While the primary dangers might be behind you, you definitely have a lot more potential to heal.
What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy
There are plenty of benefits of physical therapy that come from long-term care with a physical therapist.
Depending on the details of your specific accident, they’ll likely vary. Here are just some of the physical therapy benefits that you can look forward to if you move forward with your care.
Prevent Long-Term Damage with PT
While the initial injury was traumatic, the danger doesn’t end there. If you’re not completely healed and rehabilitated from your traumatic auto or work-related injury, you could suffer lasting damages.
Starting physical therapy immediately after your hospital care can be the difference between suffering long-term injuries or living a relatively pain-free life.
Physical therapy can also help prevent long-term damage by preventing you from further hurting yourself.
Improper care and attention to sustained injuries can lead to further injury in the long run. A physical therapist can assess the damage that you present upon arrival and make assumptions about what kind of damage can be expected down the line.
They can use this assessment in your physical therapy to train away from these further injuries.
Get Help Throughout Your Healing Process
After you leave the care of your workers’ comp doctor, you can essentially expect that you will no longer be under observation barring the random check-up.
When you seek the help of a physical therapist, you can rest assured that you’re going to get help with your condition for the duration of your healing process. This can let you feel secure in your healing and care.
The healing process doesn’t end when you’re “healed”. If you discover lasting pain years after your injury or car accident, you can return for more physical therapy even if there’s nothing “wrong” that a doctor can fix.
Whether your healing process lasts weeks or years, a physical therapist is going to be able to provide an actionable game plan to help move your healing forward and get rid of your pain.
While you may be unable to continue taking pain-relieving medication for the rest of your life, and you may be unable to seek further care from doctors for the same injury, there are always new ways that a physical therapist can work with you to adjust your care plan and lower your pain levels.
Engage in Work Conditioning
If you suffer from a work-related injury or accident, you might be worried about your condition when you need to get back on the job.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be fully healed after your medical healing period. Still, it can be unsafe to take pain-relieving medication while on the job, primarily if you work in a physically strenuous field, or an area with a lot of heavy machinery.
Work conditioning is a great way to slowly get yourself back “in working order” and prepare yourself for your job.
A physical therapist can assess your situation and the job that you have to try to make a plan for what exercises and therapeutic methods they can use to best suit your needs.
If you go through certain repetitive motions at work that interact negatively with your injury or healing process, your physical therapist can devise an aggressive but cautious healing schedule to retrain you and get you ready for your job.
Jumping directly back into work can lead to further injury if you’re not yet ready for that kind of pressure. A physical therapist can ensure that you get back to work in a timely manner while also maintaining proper safety habits.
Reduce Or Stop Your Pain
One of the best benefits of physical therapy is pain reduction. After an accident, even after you’ve completed the primary part of your healing process, it’s likely that you’re going to be dealing with some residual pain.
Pain management can be handled by a doctor if that’s the route that you decide to go. There’s no shame in taking pain medication, but certain pain medications come with a host of issues, especially if your pain is severe.
Over-the-counter pain medications (and their slightly stronger pharmacy counterparts) can be particularly hard on the liver. While many people take them daily, they are not without their risks.
If you happen to suffer from severe pain, your doctor might instead prescribe you opioid painkillers, which can be incredibly addictive. While they will kill your pain, they can also impair your abilities at work or at home, and you can become dependent on them. They come with heavy side-effects and withdrawals. Some people are allergic to opioids or refrain because of previous addictions.
It’s ideal, if possible, to avoid the need for heavy, long-term painkiller use.
A physical therapist will work gently with the areas that hurt in order to gently ease them back into use. This should reduce the need for long-term and frequent pain medication. It might not get rid of the need altogether, but it will provide another option. It will also provide a selection of coping mechanisms to draw from when you would rather not take pills (or when they’re inaccessible to you).
Strengthen Your Body and Core
Physical therapy isn’t just about restoring motion and relieving pain, it can also be about building strength throughout your body. This can be part of the process that helps to prevent future injury.
Physical therapy doesn’t just aid in the recovery process, it can also make you stronger than you were before your accident. Don’t expect to leave physical therapy as a body-builder or distance runner, but you can potentially leave with muscle functionality that you didn’t know you had before.
Physical therapy that focuses on the core is great for overall health and stability. Your core is kind of the “foundation” to the rest of your body when it comes to physical therapy and general strengthening. Your core helps your balance and assists in a lot of your day-to-day motions. A strong core built under the care of a physical therapist will be a major boon to your healing process.
Reduce or Eliminate a Need for Surgery
If you’re in the United States, surgery is expensive. Now, some of your medical care might be covered by worker’s compensation or automobile insurance, but are you completely covered?
Also, if you suffer an injury now but don’t feel the real impact of that injury until years in the future, will that surgery still be affordable to you, even if you’re covered now?
That aside, do you want to go through the surgical process? It’s invasive, painful, and requires a long period of aftercare (and likely even more physical therapy).
Some surgery is unavoidable. Sometimes immediately after an accident, you’ll be taken to surgery for emergency care. Physical therapy helps to reduce the need for future surgery.
Strengthening your muscles and working on proper conditioning can provide enough of a robust framework that you can avoid costly surgeries in the future. The extra strength prevents you from future injuries or degeneration over time.
How To Find Best Physical Therapy Clinic Near You
Physical therapy can be a lifechanging experience after a traumatic accident or work-related injury.
Healing from physical trauma is difficult, but a good physical therapist can make all of the difference.
For more information on finding the right care for you, check out the rest of the blog.
If you think that some of those physical therapy benefits can help you after your injury, you should consider reaching out to a professional as soon as possible. It’s never too soon (or too late) to start the physical therapy process.
Call (888) 590-4030 today to make an appointment with an experienced physical therapy near you who accepts workers’ compensation. Get help now, call now and get on your way to recovery.