Signs You Might Have to See a Physical Therapist After an Accident

September 22, 2023 2:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Doctor,Or,Physiotherapist,Working,Examining,Treating,Injured,Arm,Of,AthleteBeing involved in an accident, whether it’s a car collision, a slip and fall, or a sports-related incident, can result in various injuries that may require medical attention. While immediate and visible injuries are often addressed promptly, it’s essential not to overlook the potential need for physical therapy. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs that indicate you might need to see a physical therapist after an accident, even if you don’t feel immediate pain or discomfort.

Delayed Onset of Pain or Discomfort:

After experiencing an accident, it’s not uncommon for pain or discomfort to manifest hours or even days later. This delayed onset of symptoms can be an indication of hidden injuries or soft tissue damage that may not be apparent at first. If you begin to experience pain, stiffness, or reduced range of motion in the days following an accident, it’s crucial to consult with a physical therapist. They can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment to prevent any long-term complications.

Difficulty Performing Daily Activities:

If you find yourself struggling to perform everyday activities that were previously easy for you, such as lifting objects, walking, climbing stairs, or even getting dressed, it’s a sign that you may have suffered an injury during the accident. Physical therapists specialize in improving mobility and function, and they can tailor a treatment plan to address your specific needs. By seeking their expertise, you can regain your independence and return to your normal activities as soon as possible.

Persistent Headaches:

Headaches can be a common symptom following an accident, especially if there was a blow to the head or a whiplash injury. While occasional headaches can be normal, persistent and recurring headaches may indicate a more severe issue, such as a concussion or neck injury. Physical therapists trained in concussion management can evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan to alleviate headaches and restore normal function.

Loss of Balance or Coordination:

Accidents can disrupt your body’s natural balance and coordination, resulting in difficulty with movement and stability. If you find yourself feeling unsteady, experiencing frequent falls, or having trouble with your balance, it’s crucial to consult with a physical therapist. They can perform a comprehensive evaluation and prescribe balance exercises and other interventions to help restore your equilibrium and prevent further injuries.

Muscle Weakness or Atrophy:

Injuries sustained during an accident can lead to muscle weakness or atrophy, which may not be immediately noticeable. If you find yourself struggling to perform tasks that require strength or notice a decrease in muscle size in a specific area of your body, seeking the expertise of a physical therapist is essential. They can conduct comprehensive assessments, design personalized exercise programs, and provide guidance on proper techniques to help you rebuild strength and regain muscle mass.

Difficulty Returning to Sports or Physical Activities:

If you’ve been involved in an accident that affects your ability to participate in sports or physical activities you enjoy, it’s advisable to consult with a physical therapist. Whether it’s difficulty running, jumping, or engaging in specific movements, physical therapists can create a specialized rehabilitation program that focuses on your specific needs. They can help you regain strength, improve flexibility, and safely return to your desired level of performance.

Emotional and Psychological Impact:

Physical injuries resulting from an accident can have a significant emotional and psychological impact. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and fear of re-injury are all common psychological consequences following an accident. Physical therapists who are trained to address both the physical and psychological aspects of recovery can play a crucial role in providing support and guidance during the rehabilitation process. They can incorporate mental health techniques, relaxation strategies, and stress management into the treatment plan, helping you overcome any emotional barriers to your recovery.


While it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention after an accident, it’s equally important not to overlook the potential need for physical therapy. Delayed onset of pain, difficulty performing daily activities, persistent headaches, loss of balance or coordination, muscle weakness or atrophy, difficulty returning to sports or physical activities, and emotional and psychological impacts are all signs that you might benefit from seeing a physical therapist. By seeking their expertise, you can address hidden injuries, accelerate your recovery, and regain your quality of life. Remember, it’s always better to seek professional guidance to ensure a full and comprehensive recovery after an accident.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Welcome to Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy! We are licensed physical therapists specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) and offer a whole-person approach to wellness, in that we treat the whole body and not just the symptom. Our services include sports injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, aging issues, women’s and men’s health, cancer symptoms, and more. Additionally, we stock foam rollers, health supplements, gym balls and supplements in the clinic. We are here to help all ages, from babies to seniors! Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment!

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