Accident rehabilitation

Cervical spine distortion/whiplash

Whiplash is a cervical spine sprain that does not usually show up on X-rays or MRI. Matched to the complaints profile, the aim of rehabilitation is to restore normal mobility in daily routine. Immobilising sprained cervical joints intensifies the pain due to an increase in muscle tension and reduction in strength and endurance.

Herniated or slipped disc

Slipped discs very rarely require surgery, as most people recover to a normal, active life with expertly guided strength training and appropriate behavioural guidelines. Immobilisation aggravates the problem due to muscular imbalance – an imbalance between muscle strength and length.

Bone fracture

Unoperated fractures are immobilised. During the healing phase, the aim of therapy is to keep nearby joints mobile and loosen up muscles that tense up due to immobilisation. Therapeutic supervision is required as you return to normal joint and muscle function after the cast has been removed.

Ligament injury

Only very serious ligament injuries are immobilised for long periods to prevent load on the corresponding joint. A cast or brace is usually applied to allow coordination and strength training to support the injured ligament in its function during immobilisation.

Joint dislocation

A dislocated joint has to be immobilised for a short time after repositioning. This phase focuses on the surrounding muscles by relieving tension and preserving muscle length with gradually intensifying strength training later to be adapted to the desired role in functional training.

Muscle injury

A lengthy period of rest will be required depending on the extent of the injury (muscle strain, rupture). Rehabilitation will focus on relieving tension using massage and stretching exercises while improving muscle strength and coordination.

Joint sprain

The tissues are not actually injured in a sprained joint; rehabilitation focuses on increasing weightbearing capability depending on pain.

Pulled ligament

Pulled ligaments need to be immobilised in the first phase; the muscles supporting the ligament are trained using muscle and coordination training.

Tendon injury

Tendons do not have a very effective blood supply, which prolongs the time they need to heal. Complete tendon rupture usually requires surgery. Rehabilitation plays a supporting role by placing emphasis on neighbouring joints and possible muscle tension.

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