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Every year in America, an estimated 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in an automobile accident. If you’re one of them, your doctor has probably recommended that you seek  physical therapy.

You may be thinking, “My injuries aren’t that bad. How could physical therapy possibly help me? I can do exercises on my own.”

While that may be true, physical therapy is geared to help deal with the hidden injuries that go along with car accidents. So whether you’re looking into physical therapy in St. Petersburg, Tampa, or another part of Florida, keep reading to find out the five signs you need to seek physical therapy.

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Even minor car accidents can cause serious injuries. Even if you escaped without any broken bones, there may still be damage to your joints, muscles, and connective tissue. If you experience any of these five symptoms after an auto accident, physical therapy may be necessary for your recovery.

1. Significant Injuries

Car accidents often result in bone fractures, muscle tears, and dislocated joints. If you received any significant injuries like these, especially any ones that needed surgery, you’ll definitely need to see a physician. Leaving injuries like these untreated can cause significant long-term pain and weakness.

2. Sharp Pain

If you have consistent sharp pains after an accident, it’s important to schedule a physical therapy evaluation. Sharp pain can be a sign of serious muscle tears, stress fractures, or joint damage that may worsen over time.

3. Dull, Lingering Pain

Some soreness is normal after a car accident and can generally be treated with ice, heat, and rest. But if you still have dull, lingering pain that medication doesn’t help, you may have an invisible injury.

Car accidents can cause injuries that take hours or days to cause pain. These include whiplash, micro-tears, and scar tissue formation. Even though they’re not visible on an x-ray, they can lead to chronic pain and inflammation if left untreated.

4. Weakness, Numbness, or Tingling

While you may think that you can just tough out these “minor” symptoms, they’re signs of a larger problem that will only get worse if ignored.

Some weakness is to be expected after an injury. But if it doesn’t improve naturally, or if it comes with numbness and tingling, it may be a sign of inflammation or misalignment. Our physicians are trained to treat these conditions with specialized therapy techniques and equipment.

5. Decreased Range of Motion

Have you noticed that you can’t lift your injured arm above your head anymore? Or that you’re unable to straighten your knee all the way? This common side effect of car accident injuries is called decreased range of motion, or ROM.

One of the main goals of physical therapy is to restore ROM and mobility. Working with a licensed therapist will help you increase your ROM back to normal levels without causing more injury to the affected tissue.

How to Tell if Physical Therapy Is Working

Physical therapy won’t cure you after one visit. It takes time, dedication, and a lot of hard work—but the results are worth it.

Our therapist will design a personalized plan for you that may include a combination of manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, massage, and other treatments. If you’re diligent and follow their instructions, you’ll likely see a huge decrease in pain as your strength and mobility returns.

Physical Therapy in St. Petersburg

Instead of searching the web for “physical therapy near me,” give AJ Therapy Center a call. We provide high-quality physical therapy in St. Petersburg and the greater Tampa Bay area.

Our experienced bilingual staff is here to help you recover from any and all auto accident injuries. If you’ve been injured in a crash, contact us today for a free consultation.