Seeking out the best kinds of treatment for injuries sustained in an accident can be stressful. Everyone has a unique medical history and not all types of therapy will prove effective. Generally speaking, your family physician will direct you towards appropriate therapies that address specific needs:
Physiotherapists or physical therapists (PTs) are regulated, evidence-based, primary health care professionals who aim to assess, treat, and mitigate the impacts of injury, disease and/or disorders in movement and function. PTs work to promote mobility, strengthening, flexibility, and functional independence. Physiotherapy can be particularly useful for muscle injuries and joint pain. You have muscles and joints in almost every area of your body, and they’re critical to your ability to move and do the tasks you need to do. An accident often causes muscle and joint sprain / strain injuries. Physical therapists use techniques like manual therapy and specific exercises to increase range of motion, alleviate pain, restore flexibility, and promote healing. Physiotherapists often provide you with a regimen of exercises to do at home every day.
A mental health professional (psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist) with specific training works to reduce or eliminate symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD or other psychological illnesses resulting from an accident. A psychologist or psychotherapist is trained to assess and diagnose problems in thinking, feeling and behaviour and may use a variety of treatments including talk therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, and desensitization. Psychiatrists are medical doctors specialized in mental health disorders. They primarily focus on prescribing medications to help their clients manage their mental disorders and may delegate psychotherapy to a psychologist. Common areas of assessment and treatment include mood swings (lability), sadness, insomnia, suicidal ideation, loss of appetite, social withdrawal, anxiety, rumination, anhedonia (loss of interest in hobbies or social activities), fear, and anger.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of health care that helps to restore functionality with your activities of daily living (ADLs). After an accident, injuries may interfere with a person’s ability to do everyday things like self-care (getting dressed, eating, moving around the house,) being productive (going to work or school, participating in the community,) and leisure activities such as sports, gardening, and social activities. An OT may educate you about how to adapt to disability, suggest activities that will help you to improve or maintain your abilities, and suggest ergonomic and assistive devices that make everyday tasks easier. Occupational therapists also liaise with physicians, employers, and other treatment providers, suggest government supports, and work to ensure suggestions are implemented in an interdisciplinary manner.
SLSPC is here to assist you with determining which types of therapies are best suited to your specific injuries after an accident.