Having a motor vehicle accident is a stressful time, let alone dealing with the legal proceedings that may follow. Even more time consuming is when the accident has resulted in some form of personal injury. The sad news is that unfortunately, there are accidents every single day on our roads, and with those accidents comes paper work, stress, and short term lifestyle changes, but the most serious issue is the personal injury caused as a result.
Injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents can range from whiplash, muscular strains, trauma causing fractures/bruising/cuts as well as other soft tissue injuries. Minor injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident will prompt most people to follow up with their General Practitioner for a Medical Evaluation (commonly referred to as a 'check up').
In most cases, however, it is rarely recommended that they undergo rehabilitation, and will often be passed off as just a “sore” back, knee, or shoulder etc, in the hope that it will just get better with time. This is a frequent occurrence, and prolonging the intervention will in most cases eventuate into something more serious. Often people are unable to continue working, lose mobility and have to reduce their level of recreational activity for example sport, exercise, fishing, gardening.
With all injuries minor or severe, rehabilitation is needed for recovery. Missing early rehabilitation time frames for any type of injury can drastically decrease the likelihood of complete recovery. It can also drastically decrease the full return to all active daily livings, recreational activities, and life as they know it.
Early Allied Health interventions such as Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy and Podiatry after an accident, have been shown to produce greater recovery rates and significantly decrease the risk of long-term health issues arising from accidents. These interventions are not solely utilised for major injuries causing hospitalisation, but also seemingly non-sinister injuries including but not limited to strains, fractures, whiplash etc. Things such as a stiff neck and even a sore back can cause movement issues as well as wear and tear, and these relatively small issues can lead to major concerns in the long run. 1,2
Rehabilitation treatments provided, do not have to be manual therapy “hands-on” treatment. Working on basic building block movements and providing education about injuries can be just as effective. Re-educating personal injury sufferers, on how to move correctly is vital when returning to normal daily activities pain-free. It is imperative that Mental stressors caused by injuries, can also play a vital role in recovery, and this needs to be addressed once again, as soon as possible. 3, 4
In today’s society, 1 in 3 adults are not achieving the recommended physical activity, as well as 1 in 3 being overweight or obese. These statistics also represent significant negative impacts on quality of life and general overall health. If you combine these statistics with people not seeking help after an accident, then this is a recipe for disaster. 5
In general, people need to be physically active to help with quality of life, and this should be no different after a motor vehicle accident. Prescribed rehabilitation and physical movements can be all the difference between returning to work, regular pain free living and a long term healthy life. Don’t increase your stress levels after an accident by not looking after yourself. Early Allied Health has proven to be effective for everyone, and should be sought after as soon as possible!
Stay tuned for another article from the Doveston Health Team in January.
In the meantime, if you wish to get in touch with Nathan regarding this article, physiotherapy after an accident or any other health-related issues, please visit the Doveston Health website or click the button below.
Long-term outcomes of individuals injured in motor vehicle crashes: A population-based study. Alghnam S, Wegener ST, Bhalla K, Colantuoni E, Castillo R., 2015
Outcomes of motor vehicle crashes with fracture: a pilot study of early rehabilitation interventions. Brooke KJ1, Faux SG, Wilson SF, Liauw W, Bowman M, Klein L., 2014
Predictors of non-return to work 2 years post-injury in road traffic crash survivors: Results from the UQ SuPPORT study., Heron-Delaney M, Warren J, Kenardy JA, 2017
Delayed recovery in patients with whiplash-associated disorders.Dufton JA1, Bruni SG, Kopec JA, Cassidy JD, Quon J., 2012
The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9945 react-text: 64, Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013: 65 30 August–5 September 2014 /react-text react-text: 66, Pages 766-781