Getting into a car accident can be shocking, painful and stressful. Fortunately, most car accidents do not result in serious catastrophic injury. Most often, injuries sustained from a car accident are soft tissue in nature and with early treatment intervention, resolve within a few months. Continue reading through to find out what to do when you find yourself in this situation.
Your symptoms immediately after the crash
Immediately after a MVA (motor vehicle accident) you may feel several different symptoms:
- Headaches or concussion like symptoms
- Whiplash or neck pain and tightness
- Mid or low back pain and tightness
- Pins/needles, numbness in arms/hands, legs
- Shock, fear, anger
Although initially you may be quite sore and stiff, with early and proactive treatment most soft tissue injuries resolve within 3-6 months.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash occurs typically after a rear impact car collision when the head and neck move backwards from the force of impact and then rebounds or snaps forwards. There are different degrees of whiplash that typically affect the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments). People will usually feel stiffness and pain in the neck and mid-back which may be accompanied by pins/needles and numbness, headaches.
Your next steps..
Top three things to do following a motor vehicle accident (MVA)
Report the accident to ICBC. They’ll be able to start a claim for you and give you a claim number. Write down the claim number and have it handy for when you see a practitioner!
2.0 Seek Advice
Seek advice and an assessment from a rehabilitation professional such as a Physiotherapist.
- There is a lot that physio can help with even in the early stages of recovery. There is no need to “wait for the symptoms to settle before coming in”
- It is important to learn how to move the body safely and to help manage pain, as well as learn stretches and exercises to alleviate pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
3.0 Take advantage of your coverage
Use your ICBC pre approved coverage to get better, and heal. These first few months of recovery are vital to the healing process, so the sooner you can get in and see a professional – and get a personalized plan – the faster you’ll be back to the normal YOU!
New ICBC pre-approved coverage amounts:
ICBC has changed the way they offer care to their claimants. They have moved to a care based insurance model that removes barriers from access to treatment. You no longer require a doctors referral or need to speak to an adjuster to access treatment Following your car accident, as long as you have a claim number, you can access many healthcare services right away.
Within 12 weeks of your accident date you are approved for the following visit numbers:
- 25 Physiotherapy
- 25 Chiropractic
- 12 Massage Therapy
- 12 Kinesiology
- 12 Psychology
- 12 Clinical Counselling
- 12 Acupuncture
Remember – as long as you have a claim number you can access care right away without the need for referral or additional approvals!
About your physiotherapy visit
Your Physiotherapist will assess your injuries and provide treatment. They will work with the other practitioners involved in your care to create a treatment plan that encompasses all of your goals. There is a lot that your practitioners can help with even in the early stages of recovery. There is no need to “wait for the symptoms to settle” before coming in. It is important to learn how to move the body safely and to help manage pain, as well as learn stretches and exercises to alleviate pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
Your treatment may include:
- Manual therapy,
- Exercise prescription and movement therapy
- Needling (acupuncture or IMS), and
Physiotherapy, along with other disciplines can help through all stages following a car accident and can help you to get back on the road to recovery and doing the things you love to do!
If you’ve recently been in an accident and are looking for some advice or treatment on how you can get back to your regular activities, please visit True Physio & Pilates
We can’t wait to hear from you.