MVA Injury Physiotherapy in Waterloo
Car Accident (MVA) Injury Physiotherapy
Rehabilitation solutions to get your body back to what it was before the accident.
Car accident or motor vehicle accident (MVA) injuries are one of the most frustrating injuries because they are so unexpected. One day you are fine and the next you are in pain looking for solutions. Here are some of the things you should know when you’ve been injured in a car accident and are looking for a physiotherapist to help you recover.
This page will guide you through the process of seeking help for your injuries, which at first glance can be confusing, and at times frustrating. We have years of experience with MVA injures and insurance companies to get you the treatment you need.
Physiotherapy can help with MVA injuries
Whiplash is the most common injury associated with car accidents. When your car is struck your head undergoes a severe acceleration and rapid deceleration which causes strains and sprains of the muscles and ligaments in your neck. Typically, whiplash is not a life threatening injury and the most common symptoms are:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Jaw pain
- Arm pain and weakness
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ear and back pain
Previously, it was well thought that a immobilization (neck brace) of the neck for several weeks would aide in recovery. However, recent studies have shown that physical therapy can provide much more reliable and rapid recovery. Early exercise therapy is far better than collar therapy in reducing pain intensity and disability.
Whiplash can also cause jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ) to dysfunction. TMJ dysfunction can also be caused by a direct blow to the head such as the windshield or dashboard during the accident. It can start off with some pain, clicking and popping noises when you open and close your jaw, and can worsen if not properly evaluated and treated. Left untreated it can lead to headaches, ear and facial pain along with difficulty eating.
How can physiotherapy help?
Following injury to your TMJ, there’s the risk of forming scar tissue and muscle tightness. Performing any physical movements of the jaw can make joint problems worse, and need to be guided by an experienced therapist. We will provide you with exercises that strengthen muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion. We will help you improve your posture and correct your jaw alignment.
Your back can also undergo a rapid extension and flexion that can cause strains, fractures, and disc injuries. Even though the back doesn’t undergo the same amount of extension and flexion that your neck does, it still produces significant strain in your back muscles causing pain and loss of mobility.
The tremendous amount of compression that the spine withstands in car accidents can cause the soft cushion (disc) in between your vertebrae to bulge out and prolapse irritating your spinal nerves. A prolapsed (herniated) disc doesn’t always cause pain in your lower back, it can also cause:
- Loss of control of bladder/bowels, numbness in genital area and impotence (in men)
- Numbness or pins and needles feeling in one or both of arms/legs
- Pain running down one or both of arms/legs
- Weakness involving one or both arms/legs
Following a thorough assessment and diagnosis of your back pain, we will provide you with a treatment plan to return your back to its normal range of motion and strength.