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Rehabilitation Roadmap: Steps to Recovery After a Car Accident

Car accidents are distressing for victims. The vast majority go on to fully recover, but the physical and mental impact can linger for a long time.

Unfortunately, millions of people go through this experience every year. According to the National Safety Council, more than 5.4 million experienced car crashes in 2021. According to IIHS, New York saw 5.8 crash fatalities per 100,000 people over the same year, but tens of thousands of people still had to navigate car accident recovery.

The rehabilitation process after a car accident can be challenging. However, with the right guidance, you can shorten the timeline. Below is a roadmap to improve your health quickly and increase your chances of favorable outcomes.

Seek Immediate Medical Care

It’s important to seek medical help immediately after a car crash, even when you don’t feel like you’ve sustained significant car accident injuries. The symptoms of many car accident injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, and spinal cord injury, may take hours, days, or weeks to appear.

If you wait too long, there’s a higher risk of the injury worsening. Many car accident injuries can lead to debilitating chronic pain down the line. Worse, conditions like whiplash, which is a common car accident injury, can lead to permanent brain damage if it’s masking an undiagnosed concussion.

Thus, it’s important to see a doctor to catch soft tissue damage, fractures, internal bleeding, and swelling.

Visit an Auto Injury Doctor

Your primary care physician is the first point of contact for your car accident injury recovery. However, they shouldn’t be the only one. You need to visit an experienced car accident doctor who can diagnose and treat concussions, fractures, whiplash, and other such injuries.

Metro Healthcare Partners is the place to look when you need a car accident doctor in Brooklyn, NY. Our doctors can diagnose hidden musculoskeletal problems, significantly reducing car accident recovery time.

Adhere to the Treatment Plan

The car accident recovery process can be unbearably long. However, the recovery timeline can get longer if you don’t follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Some of the things you may need to do include:

  • Taking all your prescribed medications
  • Attending all follow-up appointments
  • Performing any recommended at-home exercises

Even when you feel like some parts of your treatment plan aren’t yielding the right results, always consult your doctor before dropping or changing anything.

Sleep and Rest 

Rest is a key component of rehab after a car accident. Tissue and muscle growth occur when you sleep, hastening the healing process for injured body parts.

Also, the levels of stress hormones in your body drop when you sleep, lowering the level of internal inflammation in your body. Invariably, adequate rest will reduce the time it will take for your body to heal.

Manage the Pain

Concussions From Car Accidents

Pain management is a significant chunk of the car accident recovery process. The pain from car accident injuries can last days, weeks, or months. It can leave you feeling frustrated and less willing to participate in activities that can aid your recovery.

Work with your doctor to find the most effective pain management strategies for your situation. Options include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Hot or cold compresses
  • Massage

Exercise and Stretch Regularly

Regular exercise and stretching can help you regain your balance, endurance, flexibility, and full range of motion. Regular movement can help strengthen your muscles and joints and keep them from getting stiff. It can also help reduce inflammation and pain.

However, it’s important to adhere to your doctor’s recommendations for the type of exercise you should do. Don’t do more than required, or you can extend your car accident recovery even further.

Avoid Repeat Car Accidents

As you come along in your recovery, you may be able to drive again or sit in the passenger seat of a vehicle. Either way, you must take steps to protect yourself. Another accident can be highly debilitating.  

Avoid drunk driving or riding with a drunk driver. This caused over 13,000 car accident fatalities in 2021, according to the Nationa Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Exercise caution, especially on weekends and during the holiday season. Wear your seat belt and obey all road signs to reduce the risk of repeat accidents.

Eat a Healthy Diet

As you recover from your car accident, your body will need lots of vitamins and proteins to help repair muscles and soft tissue damage. Eating a nutritious diet and hydrating properly can help hasten your recovery.  

Get External Support

Where possible, surround yourself with friends and family who can provide the encouragement you need to navigate the car accident recovery process. They can keep you motivated to stick to the recovery plan and assist you in daily activities.

Similarly, you may need to work with a counselor to help you work through post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression if necessary.

Get Help With Your Car Accident Recovery at Metro Healthcare Partners

At Metro Healthcare Partners, we have a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals who are highly experienced in guiding victims through the car accident recovery process. We’ll provide you with the treatment, advice, and guidance your body needs to get back on track.

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will the Car Accident Recovery Process Take?

The length of the recovery process will vary from one person to another based on the type of injuries sustained and other factors. Some people can complete car accident recovery in a few weeks, while others may need months or years.

Can Injuries Appear Weeks or Months After a Car Accident?

Injuries can appear a long time after the accident. This is especially true if you failed to get quality medical care in the hours or days following the accident.

Do All Car Accidents Cause Concussions?

Not all car accidents cause concussions. However, according to various industry sources, more than 289,000 cases of concussions from car accidents occur each year. Therefore, it’s always best to screen for a concussion immediately after an accident.