Clinical Conversations

Why is it important to start therapy after a motor vehicle accident (MVA)?

RinardPT recommends immediate treatment after Auto AccidentThis is a question that seems to be in debate.  At our clinic, we advise our patients to come in for treatment as soon as possible when experiencing pain in order for the fastest results.  I have experienced push-back from other health care practioners who want the person to “rest” for 4-6 weeks before starting therapy.  The problem with this? There are many things a person can be doing immediately after the MVA to facilitate healing and prevent dysfunction.  All too often, we see people 6 months or longer after the MVA. If the patient has not been given anything to work on for exercises at home, the picture is this: limited, painful movement of the spine or joint, global weakness, and poor posture that becomes painful if corrected.

What does therapy look like in the first few weeks after an MVA?

  • Initiate gentle range of motion exercise to prevent loss of movement
  • Manual techniques including passive range of motion and soft tissue mobilization to promote blood flow and healing.
  • Ultrasound modalities that decrease inflammation/swelling and promote tissue healing
  • Education and training on how to prevent dysfunction

Here at Nick Rinard Physical Therapy, we see a lot of patients who have suffered an MVA. In fact, we see it so much we have a protocol for it that is very successful for treatment.  Don’t wait! Start healing and feeling better today!