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Why should you get Accident Rehabilitation?

September 02 | 2021
Posted by Erin Mills Physiotherapy

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Car accidentAccident rehabilitation refers to the treatment that is provided to treat the injuries from a car accident.  A motor vehicle accident (MVA) can be a scary experience.  There is so much stress that happens during the whole process, including dealing with the insurance company and damages to the car.  However, the most important aspect of getting into a motor vehicle accident is your health.  More specifically, a car accident can result in a whole host of different injuries.  Ensuring that you are safe and getting the care that you need to recover is so important.

What are the common factors that influence a motor vehicle accident?

A motor vehicle accident can result in a whole host of different injuries depending on the nature of the accident.  There are a number of different factors that can influence the impact of an accident on your body.  For example:

  • Speed of the vehicles involved
  • Location of accident, such as highway or local roads
  • Type of vehicles involved, such as size and make of vehicles
  • Body position during impact, such as leaning forward or head turned
  • Weather conditions such as snow or rain

What are the most common injuries from a car accident?

The type of injuries that people get from a car accident will depend on the seriousness of the accident itself.  In the worst possible scenario, a motor vehicle accident can result in fatalities.  These types of accidents usually happen at high speeds, or with poor visibility and weather conditions.  However, most accidents result in a variety of different injuries.

The most common injuries sustained in a car accident include:

  • Whiplash
    • Occurs when the force of the impact pushes the neck into hyper-extension and hyper-flexion positions
    • This causes a sprain/strain of the associated muscles and ligaments of the neck
    • Symptoms range from pain, stiffness, numbness/tingling into the arms and hands, headache and loss of motion
  • Thoracic & Lumbar strains
    • The impact causes the joints and muscles of the spine to be over-stretched
    • The mechanism is similar to whiplash
    • Symptoms include pain, limited movement, numbness/tingling into the arms and/or legs, weakness
  • Shoulder strains
    • Because the driver is holding onto the steering wheel using their arms, it is common for the shoulder to get injured in a car accident,
  • Concussion
    • Concussions are a form of a traumatic brain injury and can vary from mild to severe
    • Concussions occur as a result of either direct or indirect trauma to the brain
    • The most common symptoms of a concussion are dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and fogginess
    • Fractures
      • The impact of a car accident can lead to broken bones
      • Some fractures will require surgery while others will require only casting to heal
    • Injuries requiring surgery
      • Some muscle and tendon tears will require surgery to completely recover
      • Additionally, motor vehicle accidents can cause injury to internal organs, which may require surgery

Who is entitled to receive accident rehabilitation?

Any person who has valid vehicle insurance is entitled to receive accident rehabilitation benefits through their insurance company.  However, if the injured individual does not have their own insurance, they can still apply for accident benefits.  The circumstances of the accident will determine which insurance company will pay for the benefits.

How much accident rehabilitation benefits are available?

The amount of the benefits that the person is entitled to depends on the nature of their injuries.  There are two categories of benefits available:

  • Minor Injury Guideline (MIG)
    • This pathway is for those individuals who have minor injuries including whiplash and sprains and strains.
    • Majority of motor vehicle accident injuries fall within this category
    • This pathway is standardized across all of Ontario in terms of its entitlement
    • The maximum benefit under the MIG is $3500
  • Major Injury Guideline (non-MIG)
    • This pathway is reserved for individuals who have suffered serious injuries from the accident
    • Examples include fractures, surgeries, major neurological trauma and concussions
    • The maximum entitlement under this plan will vary depending on the injuries

What is the process of receiving accident rehabilitation benefits?

When reporting the accident to the insurance company, the insurance adjuster will ask if there are any injuries from the accident.  They will then initiate the process of the accident benefit claim.  The adjuster will send the injured person a package of forms that they have to complete and send back.  The adjuster will also likely put the injured individual in touch with a physiotherapy clinic in the area closest to the patient.  The clinic will then contact the patient to schedule an initial assessment.

 

What can I expect from my Initial Assessment with the physiotherapist?

Once all the intake paperwork is complete, the Registered Physiotherapist will meet with the patient to start the physiotherapy assessment.  Firstly, the physiotherapist will start by asking some questions to get an understanding of the injuries.  Some examples of questions can include:

  • The details of the accident and how it happened.
  • Questions that will screen the patient for serious injuries that may require further medical attention
  • They will go through all the painful areas and injuries that have occurred
  • They will request details about past medical and injury history

Secondly, the physiotherapist will do a physical assessment once they have all the necessary information.  They will check all the affected areas for range of motion and strength.  This will start to give the therapist an idea of the severity of the symptoms.

Additionally, the physiotherapist will use the information collected to determine whether the patient will be classified as either MIG or non-MIG. The physiotherapist will then fill out the required treatment plan for the patient and go over what the plan will look like with the patient.  Furthermore, they will discuss treatment timelines and treatment goals with the patient.  Lastly, at PhysioNow, there is always time allocated at the end of the assessment to start some light treatment to give the patient some pain relief.

What kind of treatment is provided for accident rehabilitation?

The types of treatment provided for patients after vehicle accidents are similar to non-vehicle injuries.  The specific treatments provided will depend on the nature of the injuries and what the physiotherapist feels is most appropriate for the patient.  The treatment plan will involve a combination of different treatments including:

  • Modalities – US, Laser, IFC
  • Manual therapy – soft tissue work, mobilizations, assisted stretching
  • Exercises – range of motion, postural and strengthening exercises
  • Education – explanations of the injuries and do’s and don’ts to help the recovery process

Left untreated, the injuries from a car accident can produce chronic pain and limit your function.  Do not let your injuries from a motor vehicle accident keep you from living your life.  Call PhysioNow to book your assessment today!

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