Core Physical Therapy
healing from the inside out



Motor Vehicle Accidents

Statistics indicate that approximately 70% of us will be involved in a motor vehicle accident at some point in time. Of those involved, 50% will develop whiplash. The question is what is the best approach for reducing pain, and achieving long-term recovery?

Research suggests that receiving physical therapy in the early or late stages of a motor vehicle accident will support long-term recovery for pain, range of motion, and function. Ideally receiving early care is helpful to minimize inflammation and facilitate the correct position and alignment of the joints and soft tissue of the body. This allows a more efficient and rapid recovery and minimizes future complications from the injury.

In the early stages of injury inflammation and pain chemicals are present and need to be reduced to promote an environment for tissue repair. This can be easily achieved with specific neck exercises that are dose specific for the injury and segment of the spine involved. In some cases a joint may be hypermobile. This means it is moving beyond its ideal range of motion further facilitating muscle guarding and pain. Protection of these hypermobile joints while also mobilizing joints that may be restricted and supporting the surrounding soft tissue is easily accomplished with tissue specific exercise prescription.

For treatment from whiplash early dosed pain-free movement has been shown to reduce pain, increase range of motion, and create new healthy tissue. This program is called STEP (Scientific Therapeutic Exercise Prescription). Early care from injury combining osseous mobilization, soft tissue techniques, and tissue specific exercise prescription has been shown to improve the quality of outcome for individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents. These programs can start with resistance as low as 100 grams allowing the muscles to engage without pain and flushing out early pain chemicals and inflammation. The programs then progress with the appropriate manual "hands on" techniques to restore optimal biomechanics of your spine and soft tissue.

These programs are highly effective in supporting recovery from motor vehicle accidents and allow you to return to your favorite activities without pain. Due to direct access legislation a doctor's referral is not necessary for the initial evaluation. Physical therapy can help at any stage of recovery from a motor vehicle accident whether that be an accident one week ago or one 5 years ago that is not resolved fully. The benefit of care is dependent on specific dosage of exercise, movement, and manual therapy techniques that are specific to your individual injury and involved tissue.


Core Physical Therapy · 443 NE Knott Street · Portland, Oregon 97212

Kellie Barnes

Kellie Barnes, MOMT, MPT

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