What Should I Do About Back Pain after a Car Accident?

Back Pain

Back Pain

At times someone who was in a car accident may not take their injuries as seriously as they should. If you’ve received back pain from a car accident and wait longer than you should you may experience back pain for longer than needed.An estimated 2.4 million people were injured in car accidents across the country. The most common injury statistics stemming from a car accident are neck pain and back pain.”

Back pain from a car accident is very common and can persist for a few days to a week. After consulting a doctor to make sure your injury isn’t life-threatening, there are things you can do to help your back recover. However, if it goes on any longer than a week further help may be needed besides painkillers and rest.

It can even be debilitating and put you out of work or your daily routine. If you have been in an accident and are suffering from back pain here’s what you should do going forward: manual therapy and gentle exercise.

Manual Therapy for Back Pain

Manual therapy is mainly used by physical therapists to treat pain. It includes joint manipulation, joint mobilization, and maintaining back pain relief for a long time.

The whole idea behind manual therapy is to reduce pain and improve mobility function. This is done when the physical therapists use their hands to place pressure on the muscle tissue in an attempt to decrease back pain caused by muscle tension and muscle spasms.

Can I get back to 100%? Read this blog to learn more.

Back Pain Exercises

You may want to sit and rest for days on end after an accident but that may only cause muscle stiffness and cause more discomfort. Walking around or doing simple movements can help to release that tension.

One exercise you can complete is a curl up. Start but laying down on the floor or bed. Have a pillow underneath your head or two if your neck is in pain. Keep one leg straight and the other bent. Then place your hand in the small of your back and slowly bring your head up a little off the pillow.

Go straight up looking at the ceiling instead of picking your head up straight to your legs. You should pick your head and shoulders up for ten seconds holding it, making sure you engage your core, and then bring your head back down. If you feel a strain in your neck a tip is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. For this exercise you only do it on one side you do not switch legs.

Watch this video to follow along with the curl-up exercise.

Another exercise you can do sitting down is the seated march. A seated march is great for building core strength and relieving back pain. You can perform this on a ball or chair. Engage your core and sit up straight and slowly bring one leg up, place it down and then replicate on the other side.

Watch this video of a patient’s success story after being in an automobile accident.

Physical Therapy for Automobile Accidents

Many may not think about physical therapy after a car accident. However, it can be very beneficial especially if you’ve been having aches and pains for a while after the accident. At Preferred Physical Therapy our mission is to get down to the root cause of your problem and diagnose what is really going on to create your treatment plan.

Based on the treatment plan that the physical therapist recommends, then determine the number of visits you need for treatment. This can be anywhere from 8 to 12 visits depending on what they see fit. Every visit includes hands-on time with the therapists and exercises tailored to your condition.

The therapists make sure to go over the exercises with you and answer any questions you may have.

Once you’ve completed all your visits you will have a re-evaluation to determine how far you’ve come and your progress. If more visits are needed then you reschedule another plan and go from there, until you reach your goals and are where you want to be.


Nick Hunter, PT, DPT