Two therapy exercises can help arm pain after a car accident

Arm Pain After Car Accident

Car accidents in Holland, Michigan, can cause many types of pain, including arm pain. But how likely is it that you might have to deal with this type of pain? Well, a 2018 report by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) shows that almost 8,000 car accidents in Ottawa County. This means that you’re much more likely to have arm pain after a car accident than you might think. Often, the post-accident arm pain you feel isn’t even based in the arm at all — it’s more than likely caused by a neck issue. Physical therapists in Holland can help treat the neck issues causing your arm pain with several therapeutic exercises, including: 

  1. Side neck tilt

One neck issue that can lead to arm pain after a car accident is a pinched brachial plexus. This bundle of nerves starts at the base of your neck, runs down the side of the neck, goes under the collarbone and runs down the arm. Car accidents often cause increased tension in scalene muscles on the side of your neck. This tension can pinch the brachial plexus and lead to arm pain. Physical therapists can help reduce tension in the scalene muscle with a therapeutic exercise called the side neck tilt. 

Start this exercise by sitting up tall with your shoulders back and neck straight. From this starting position, slowly tilt your head away from the painful arm until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and then return to the starting position. After a short rest, repeat the steps twice more to complete three total repetitions of this stretch. You can also repeat the stretch throughout the day when you feel your neck and arm pain increase. 

  1. Neck extension

Car accidents can cause the neck vertebrae to squish together, leading to post-accident arm pain. What happens is the compression of the neck causes nerve openings in the neck called foramen to get smaller. This can lead to pinching of the brachial plexus as it leaves the base of your neck. The neck extension is a physical therapy exercise that can help reduce the pressure of this nerve structure. 

To begin the neck extension exercise, sit in a stable chair; you’ll want to sit up straight, bring your shoulders back and center your ears over your shoulders. Once you’re in this starting position, slowly tilt your head and neck backward as far as you can. Make sure you stop at once if this movement causes your pain to increase. After you’ve reached your movement limit, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat these steps until you’ve done 15 to 20 total repetitions. 

Post-car accident arm pain can be treated at Holland Physical Therapy in Holland, MI

Holland Physical Therapy is proud to offer exceptional physical therapy at our clinic in Holland. Our clinic offers complimentary screenings, and this service can help you find out the root cause of your post-car accident arm pain. Using the information gathered in your screening, our team can build you a personalized therapy plan, which is designed to provide benefits such as: 

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved mobility
  • Faster injury recovery
  • Increased ability to perform routine daily tasks

Are you ready to take the next step to get our help with your car accident injury? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.