Published On: January 19th, 2024Tags: ,

About the Author: Tony D'Ovidio, PT, DPT

Dr. Tony D'Ovidio is a physical therapist in Portland, OR. He is a a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics and specializes in treating TMJ (TMD) and headaches. His diverse experience spans several fitness disciplines, including weight training, calisthenics, running, and cycling, helping both competitive and recreational athletes.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Post-Car Accident Physical Therapy Treatment

At MovementX, we understand the challenges individuals face after a car accident. These incidents not only impact your physical and mental well-being, but can also disrupt your home and work life.

Did you know that as many as 85% of individuals experience some form of pain or injury after a car accident? Many develop “Whiplash Associated Disorder” (WAD), which includes symptoms like headaches, neck pain, stiffness, shoulder and back pain, numbness, dizziness, sleeping difficulties, fatigue, and/or cognitive deficits. Recovery can take over three months, with 23% still not fully recovered after a year.

But here’s the good news—research consistently shows that early and active physical therapy intervention after a whiplash injury can lead to improved outcomes. At MovementX, we’re passionate about providing immediate, top-quality, evidence-based care right to your doorstep to help you recover from a car crash efficiently.

 

Tony D'Ovidio, PT, DPT treating a patient's upper back in home after a motor vehicle accident in Portland Oregon.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy after a Car Accident

After a motor vehicle accident, or “MVA”, you might consider various treatment options. However, evidence now indicates that passive management, like massage or acupuncture, is no longer sufficient to fully recover after a motor vehicle crash.

MovementX offers proactive physical therapy to address immediate injuries and prevent long-term complications.

This is where physical therapy can help:

1. Injury Triage

Our doctoral-level training allows us to quickly assess your symptoms and identify any red flags, ensuring timely referrals to additional healthcare providers if needed.

2. Strengthening Muscles with Guided Protocols

Car accidents can lead to weakened muscles and compromised support structures. Clinical guidelines emphasize specific protocols for strengthening muscles and supporting structures post-whiplash. Our physical therapists adhere to these guidelines to promote optimal recovery and prevent chronic conditions.

3. Restoration of Range of Motion

Injuries sustained in an auto accident can limit the range of motion in affected joints. Physical therapy utilizes hands-on manual therapy and exercise to restore flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of long-term issues.

4. Education on Injury Prevention

Physical therapists educate patients on proper body mechanics and techniques to prevent re-injury. This knowledge empowers individuals to make lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of chronic conditions.

5. Pain Management Strategies and Prevention of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain often stems from the poor physical and psychological management of acute injuries. Physical therapists employ pain management strategies, including modalities, education, pain psychology, and therapeutic exercises to alleviate pain and prevent it from becoming a persistent, long-term issue.

By seeking physical therapy after a motor vehicle accident, individuals not only address immediate injuries but also take proactive steps towards preventing long-term complications. The benefits extend beyond pain relief to encompass a holistic approach to recovery, promoting overall well-being and functional restoration.

Tony D'Ovidio, PT, DPT treating a patient's neck in home after a motor vehicle accident in Portland Oregon.

 

Do I have to see my doctor after a car accident?

While maintaining a relationship with your primary care physician is encouraged, you don’t need a referral for physical therapy after a motor vehicle accident and a physical therapist can serve as a first point of contact after injury. At MovementX, we can usually see you within 24 hours, collaborating with your healthcare team to provide comprehensive care.

When should I seek urgent care after a car accident?

Certain conditions require immediate attention. If you experience any of the following, we encourage you to go to an urgent care or emergency room:

  1. Loss of consciousness
  2. Paralysis
  3. Blurred Vision
  4. Confusion
  5. Intolerable pain or headache
  6. Immediate onset of numbness, tingling, or weakness radiating below the elbow or below the knee
  7. Changes in bowel or bladder function

The Advantages of In-Home Physical Therapy

Choosing in-home physical therapy offers numerous advantages for individuals recovering from a car crash:

1. Convenience and Comfort

Recovering from injuries can be challenging. In-home physical therapy provides the convenience of receiving expert care in the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for travel to a car accident physical therapy clinic.

2. Personalized Attention

Our dedicated therapists focus on personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a more effective and targeted approach to recovery. We never have multiple patients at once and you will spend the entirety of your session with a doctorally trained and licensed physical therapist.

3. Enhanced Compliance

Patients often find it easier to adhere to their treatment plans when receiving care at home, leading to improved compliance and better overall outcomes. We will utilize the tools and space you have available, so that you can replicate your home program with ease.

 

Tony D'Ovidio, PT, DPT treating a patient's shoulder in home after a motor vehicle accident in Portland Oregon.

 

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Physical Therapy after a Car Accident

Navigating insurance coverage for physical therapy after a car accident is crucial. Here’s what you need to know:

As long as you have insurance, you won’t have to pay a dime

At MovementX, we accept payments directly from car insurance companies like Geico, Progressive, MetroMile, and Liberty Mutual. This streamlines the process, allowing you to focus on your recovery without the burden of financial concerns.

To submit your claim information to us, please fill out this form.

Be sure to monitor your PIP or MedPay

PIP stands for “personal injury protection” and is an allocated amount of funds your insurance company gives you to seek medical care after a car accident. As a patient, it is important to be strategic with these funds as they are limited and should be used for the most evidence based, effective, and efficient care. If you seek too many unnecessary or duplicative services at once, you risk exhausting your PIP or Medpay and being personally liable for any costs associated with care.

Conclusion

Whether your car accident is a minor fender bender or a life-altering event, prioritizing your health is paramount. MovementX is committed to delivering exceptional in-home physical therapy services, offering the benefits of personalized care and seamless insurance coverage.

Take the first step towards a swift and effective recovery by choosing our mobile physical therapy services. Click here to sign up with MovementX today.

References

  1. https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(16)30192-0/fulltext
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejp.681
  3. https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(16)30192-0/fulltext
  4. https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(16)30192-0/fulltext

About the Author

Dr. Tony D'Ovidio PT, DPT profile photo in Portland Oregon

Dr. Tony D’Ovidio is a physical therapist in Portland, OR. He is a a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics and completed a prestigious manual therapy fellowship (held by around 1% of physical therapists). Among his areas of treatment, Tony D’Ovidio specializes in treating TMJ (TMD) and headaches. His diverse experience spans several fitness disciplines, including weight training, calisthenics, running, and cycling, helping both competitive and recreational athletes.

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