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Physical Therapy and Personal Injury Litigation – Best Practice

PHYSICAL THERAPY

It is essential that you enter into a physical therapy program as soon as possible after either a motor vehicle or fall down accident. The muscles in the neck and back can go into spasm in order to protect the area from further injury. Physical therapy helps to relieve the spasm and the accompanying pain.

During whiplash type injuries, ligaments in the neck can be damaged. Ligaments are very strong attachments that keep joints in alignment and limit joint movement to a normal range. Tight ligaments are essential to keep the cartilage firmly in place within a joint and to prevent excessive movement of body parts. Physical therapy teaches the muscles to support the skeletal system when the damaged ligaments have become stretched out. Physical therapists use any of a number of techniques to reduce spasm and pain and rebuild the weakened musculature.

During the initial months of therapy, treatment generally involves moist heat, ice packs, massage, and ultrasound for deep muscle stimulation. As the body responds and the spasm is relieved, the therapy moves toward rebuilding the muscles that have atrophied during the initial therapy. The therapist supervises an exercise program to help the patient regain pre-accident strength. Upon conclusion of the therapy program, the therapist instructs the patient in exercise techniques undertaken at home or a gym.

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