Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. As accident victims navigate the path to recovery, it is crucial to prioritize their physical health. Taking care of the body not only promotes overall well-being but also plays a significant role in achieving a positive legal outcome.
In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, I would like to provide you with some practical exercises that you can perform to aid in your recovery after a car accident. Working with medical professionals during your recovery process will help not only recover your health but also provide crucial documentation for your legal case. However, many of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Simple Exercises That Can Help During Your Recovery
Maintaining physical health during the recovery period is crucial for car accident victims. That is why I have compiled a comprehensive list of simple workout exercises that can help them regain strength and flexibility. Below is a list of simple workouts that you can incorporate into your recovery routine:
Deep breathing exercises promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. They are particularly beneficial for car accident victims who might experience anxiety or panic attacks following the incident. To perform deep breathing exercises, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for several minutes, focusing on letting go of any tension or negative feelings.
Car accidents often result in neck injuries such as whiplash. Neck stretches can help alleviate stiffness and improve range of motion. Start by sitting upright with your shoulders relaxed.
To do this exercise, gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. You can also perform forward and backward neck stretches by slowly moving your head forward and backward, being mindful not to strain or force the movement.
Shoulder rolls are effective for releasing tension in the shoulder and upper back area. Begin by sitting or standing with your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds, and then reverse the direction. Repeat this exercise several times, focusing on maintaining a relaxed posture throughout.
Car accidents can cause chest muscles to tighten, leading to poor posture and restricted breathing. Chest openers help stretch and strengthen the chest muscles. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your back and gently straighten your arms while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat several times.
Focusing on the core area is crucial during the recovery period. The bridge exercise is an effective way to target the glutes, lower back, and abdominal muscles. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Press your feet against the ground, engage your core muscles, and lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower back down. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 repetitions.
If you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your stability, leg raises can be very helpful. To start, lie on your back with your legs straight. Slowly raise one leg off the ground, keeping it straight until you reach a comfortable height. Hold for a few seconds, then lower the leg to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Try to do 10-15 repetitions on each side.
Seated marches are perfect for individuals with limited mobility or injuries that prevent them from doing standing exercises. To perform this exercise, sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Start by lifting one foot off the ground and march in place, bringing the knee up towards your chest. Then, switch to the other leg and repeat the same movement. Keep alternating between legs and maintain a steady pace. Aim to complete 10-15 repetitions on each side.
Arm circles engage the shoulder and arm muscles, promoting flexibility and strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Make small circles forward for 10-15 seconds, then reverse the direction for another 10-15 seconds. Keep your movements controlled and focus on maintaining proper posture.
Wall push-ups are a modified version of traditional push-ups that individuals with limited upper body strength or injuries can perform. Stand facing a wall, with your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height. Slowly bend your elbows and lean towards the wall until your chest almost touches it, then push back to the starting position. See if you can do 10-15 repetitions, gradually increasing the intensity as you become stronger.
Ankle pumps can help improve circulation and prevent blood clots, especially during prolonged periods of immobilization. To perform ankle pumps, sit or lie down with your legs extended and heels on the ground. Point your toes away from your body, then flex them back towards your shins. Repeat this motion several times to promote healthy blood flow.
David I. Fuchs
David I. Fuchs is a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer and the founder of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. David has an extensive background representing plaintiffs in personal injury and car accident cases and has been practicing law for over three decades.