Car Accidents

Car accidents come with a whole lot of trauma to the body – physical and psychological. Even those that didn’t suffer internal damage are still wrought with neck pain and back pain so debilitating that it can impede daily function (such as sleep, work and recreational activity) for up to 1 year post-accident. The muscle damage that results from a car accident is different from a muscle strain endured after sport or activity: it is usually long-standing, waxing and waning and difficult to control. Victims are often put through a regimen of brain-numbing and highly addictive muscle relaxers that may not serve a long-term purpose. Whiplash injuries are the most common injuries that stem from car accidents. Patients may be put in a neck or back brace that, although seemingly makes sense at first, serves to make things worse in the long-run. So after an accident, how can one ensure the best outcome?

1) Report your injuries – however big or small – immediately.
Often, victims wait for a week before reporting symptoms to their physician. This is not only dangerous, but also self-limiting: a 2012 study found that the rate of recovery is faster if treatment begins within the first few weeks after a collision and that waiting to start treatment can significantly hamper recovery. Furthermore, you want to be checked as soon as possible by a physician because sometimes instability of neck joints go unnoticed, causing an array of symptoms that range from visual disturbances, to passing out (syncope).
2) Go to physical therapy – and make sure you start an active, stabilization regimen.
A 2006 study compared the prognosis of patients who were treated by neck brace versus those treated with physical therapy. The study concluded that patients with neck injuries reported significantly less pain 6 weeks after having physical therapy for only 10 visits. They repeated the comparison at 6 months and found the same result, indicating that the effects were long-lasting. The physical therapy they recieved included a regimen of active exercises to rebuild musculature, calm down compensations, and improve posture.
3) So what NOT to do?
Research has also measured factors that proved ineffective for treating long-term neck and low back pain. These are:
– immobilization braces for the back and neck collars
– passive coping style (i.e. not seeking help!)
– depressed moods (surely from pain, but the source could also very well be from those sleep-inducing muscle relaxers!)
– fear of movement (skipping your marathon would be prudent, but being a couch potato isn’t)
What A Physical Therapist Can Do:
A PT can recommend stretches and exercises to gain back range of motion. We can also deliver manual therapy to ease muscle tension and strain while at the same time prescribe exercises to stabilize core muscles so you can regain proper posture.

Bohman et al 2012. Prognosis with whiplash-associated disorders consulting physiotherapy: development of a predictive model for recovery. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 13:264.
Vassilliou et al 2006. Physical Therapy and active exercises – an adequate treatment for prevention of late whiplash syndrome? Randomized controlled trial in 200 patients. Pain. 124(1-2): 69-76.
Carroll et al 2009. Course and Prognostic Factors for Neck Pain in Whiplash-Associated Disorders. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 32(2): 97-107.

By Alice Holland, DPT.
Alice’s Google + page.

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
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