After a car accident, the body needs time to recover through rest and relaxation. However, the body can also recover more quickly when gentle exercises are begun, usually one to three days after the accident. If there was any bleeding, it is generally recommended that exercise should not begin until bleeding ceases. This is because doctors must first gauge the body’s inflammation levels in order to determine the right type of physical therapy program. Below are some of the ways that people can greatly aid in their recovery process after a car accident once approval is given.
Whether you had a car accident in Orlando or a motorcycle accident in the Cascade Mountains of Washington these simple exercises will help you to get back on the road to recovery. Make sure that you consult with your physician before you begin any exercise regimen outside of the treatment that was already prescribed. These exercises are meant to increase your range of motion and work out any soreness that you may have as a result of your car accident. Keep in mind that your body is fragile and it if you over exert yourself you could end up causing further injury.
1. Walking. Often an overlooked form of exercise, walking can be very beneficial after an accident. The body is made for walking, which makes it a natural form of exercise, even for as little as a minute or two at a time. With a doctor’s approval, you can take short walks in areas that have adequate lighting and cushion in case you happen to fall. You can take walks around the house or outside if you live in a warm climate. However, be careful not to go too far so that you are able to to get back easily. Wear supportive and sturdy shoes and cease walking if it causes any pain. Patients should discuss any pain that occurs with their doctor or physical therapist.
2. Gentle Stretches. Stretching is a good way to start any exercise program or routine. There are many physical therapy routines that are safe for people to do after suffering from an injury. For instance, some may involve sitting in a chair or on the floor and moving limbs back and forth. This is safer than taking a yoga class that could strain muscles further. It also keeps you close to the floor so that you can avoid any slip and fall accidents.
3. Aqua Therapy. Walking in a pool or doing exercises in a tub not only helps injuries, but can soothe the muscles as well, which aids in the healing process. Since water takes the weight off of injured joints, ligaments and muscles, it is used successfully for the elderly as well as frail and injured people. However, patients should not attempt aqua therapy without the guidance of a physical therapist and the approval of their doctor.
4. Breathing. The body’s response to car accidents causes the chest and diaphragm to tighten. As a result, it feels like a great deal of exertion has taken place. Therefore, breathing exercises are very beneficial and can be done by just about anyone. Resting on the back, with hands and arms across the stomach is a great way to take slow, even breaths. Doing this several times a day is usually beneficial for everyone.
5. Exercise Ball. Using an exercise ball is a great way to stretch the entire body. Laying across the ball allows the chest to gently stretch, making it easier to breathe and become more supple. After an accident, this type of ball is also good for posture and to use as a resistance device with light weight exercises if appropriate. Many physical therapists incorporate routines with the exercise ball into their sessions so you can actually have a professional to guide you as far as using the correct form and getting the most out of the exercise.
Although the accident may not have been your fault, your recovery is your responsibility. You must take the initiative and follow your doctor’s orders but you should also listen to your body and if you can do more than what is prescribed do more. If you experience any pain, stop the exercise and inform your doctor of what is happening.
Of course, any exercises that are done should always be complementary to any type of treatment from the physician. Patients should also schedule all necessary followup appointments upon diagnosis and keep good records of progress. Using a journal to keep track of how the body reacts is also beneficial to share with caregivers, doctors and physical therapists. Incorporating exercise into your recovery will also assist you with your pain management. While your body gets stronger you will find that you have less pain and less dependency on any prescription pain medication. In this coordinated way, it will be easier to recover more quickly and completely.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches car accidents. She has discovered that if you are the victim of a car accident in Orlando you can seek representation from the experienced personal injury law firm of Steinger, Iscoe& Greene.
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