Suppose you have suffered a severe car accident injury and are currently in the recovery process. In that case, your medical professional will probably recommend you see a physical therapist for continued rehabilitation. But why would you need a physical therapist?

Initial medical treatment for a typical auto accident injury consists of a neck brace and painkillers. However, this does little actually to repair the damage after the car accident. Physical therapy is the primary method for repairing and strengthening damaged tissue to return to its prior level of function and decrease pain. Regardless of the injury severity, you will benefit from a physical therapy program.

This type of treatment involves body mechanics and correct movement. A physical therapist will work with you to build up muscles, rehabilitate sustained injuries, and prevent further damages.

Basic things about physical therapy after a car accident injury

What is the purpose of physical therapy post-injury?


Physical therapy is a method of treatment that seeks to restore your body’s function and movement, provide pain relief and promote healing. It is, therefore, essential for sustained car accident injury and comes in at two different times, before surgical intervention and post-surgical.

When you are on the mend from a sustained car accident injury, physical therapy can offer many compelling advantages, such as:

  • Alleviating pain from sustained car accident injury
  • Helping injuries heal and repair faster
  • Increasing mobility and movement of limbs
  • Strengthening muscles and tissues
  • Relieving stress on the joints
  • Improving balance
  • Adjusting to an assistive device like a cane or a walker
  • Learning how to adapt to and use a prosthetic

Post-injury, you do not have the knowledge or skill set to rehabilitate yourself safely, so having a proper diagnosis and a safe treatment plan is essential. If you don’t, you may risk re-injury. Each person and car accident injury is unique, so it’s only natural that the type of treatment and its duration will vary from individual to individual.

What happens with physical therapy during your recovery process?

car accident injury

The first thing a physical therapist will do is watch how you walk, move your limbs, bend, grasp, lift, rotate, test your range of motion and see where the restrictions are. Each treatment session will likely have a short assessment beforehand to detect setbacks or improvements.

Additionally, the physical therapist will ask where you perceive pain or discomfort, how long you have had it, and what medical treatments you have tried already. Then, they might use a hands-on treatment method to aid you in training the muscles and joints in proper movement or prescribe you light but practical exercises. Such exercises are typically self-guided and can be done in the comfort of your own home to ensure more improvement can be provided between sessions. A physical therapist’s work targets pain reduction, restoring bodily function, and improving overall conditions.

Every person has unique physical therapy needs. Depending on how severe your car accident injury is and other factors such as your age and fitness level, you could only need a few sessions or require a couple of months of physical therapy. Before beginning treatment, ask your physical therapist how many sessions they think you require to recover from your car accident injury fully.

Not sure when to opt for physical therapy? In the absence of a referral from your physician, your attorney can step in and help in this respect. This way, you will complete your car accident recovery and eliminate the worry of not affording to pay for the physical therapy from your budget. “When the recovery process is related to the injuries you sustained, you can secure reimbursement of costs by filing for a personal injury claim,” recommends Miami car accident lawyer Sean M. Cleary.


Your attorney cannot offer any guarantees you will recover the damages you seek. However, you can make sure you correctly record every medical procedure you undergo to ensure you receive proper reimbursement for injuries sustained. You can accomplish this by providing clear evidence that shows the negligent party’s actions directly caused your injuries and that physical therapy is essential for your rehabilitation.

About the author

Sean M. Cleary is a personal injury lawyer, founder, and president of the Miami, Florida-based The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. In a career spanning over more than 20 years, he has offered his help to numerous clients who have incurred severe, life-altering injuries during car crashes that happened through no fault of their own.

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