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Rehabilitative Therapies After An Auto Accident: 8 Types of Therapy to Help You Heal

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You’ve likely heard the saying since middle school: “Don’t drink and drive”. That’s because driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly influences your ability to drive safely. Driving under the influence doesn’t just affect the people who are driving drunk or high. The people it affects most are the innocent victims who have their lives turned upside down in an instant.  After you’ve spent time physically recovering, you may need additional rehabilitation efforts, whether they be mental, physical, or both, to get your life back on track. 

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident where the at-fault driver was reckless and driving under the influence of alcohol, you’re probably feeling a mix of emotions including anger, frustration, and despair. Many of the DUI cases we see here at Thompson Law have long-lasting implications on the lives of all drivers involved, which can mean both physical and mental rehabilitation take much longer than for other vehicle accidents.

We’re all too aware that drunk driving accident victims suffer some of the longest-lasting effects when recovering after a car accident. The mental trauma that they go through after being a victim, where even diligence and their own safe driving may not have helped them negatively impacts mental recovery.

When someone chooses to drink and drive, he or she is taking other people’s lives into their hands. They make a reckless choice that can harm even the safest of sober drivers, making the innocent driver’s rehabilitation an often long and slow path back to normal life.

The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been victims of DUI and other auto accidents, including those who need rehabilitation. Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

Rehabilitative Therapies

Durable Medical Equipment

Before we discuss the various types of rehab therapies and their benefits, it’s important to realize that these may be done with or without the assistance of durable medical equipment.

Following transition from in-patient to out-patient care, patients may need equipment and assistance to resume life as it was before the incident. Durable medical equipment (DME) is a device or appliance made to help patients complete everyday activities, such as household chores, personal care, meal preparation, or communication with others. Wheelchairs, lifts, canes, and hospital beds are examples of durable medical equipment. These can be used during rehab, or at all times outside of rehab, and use of them may continue past when the patient has successfully completed rehab.

Music Therapy

Music therapy uses sound, music, and movement to address motor skill development, social and interpersonal development, cognitive development, personal growth, and spiritual enhancement. The practice has been present in the US more than half a decade and is gaining respect among the medical community. Music therapists teach music technique and history, listen to music with patients, and encourage relaxation and rehabilitation through creative outlets, such as singing, playing, or writing music.

Art Therapy

With a basis in psychodynamic theory, art therapy helps patients achieve emotional, cognitive, and development growth. By creating and talking about art, patients gain the tools needed to cope with stress and become more self-aware.Artistic talents are not a requirement to be successful in art therapy because the creative process is what is key. Simple materials and techniques allow for minimal structure and maximum creativity. The final product is not the focus, and in some cases, it is even destroyed as part of the therapeutic process.

Vocational Therapy

When an accident victim is unable to work, vocational therapy or vocational counseling may be a solution. These professionals help injured patients find a role within the workforce. Vocational therapy is especially important when the job the person had prior to the incident is no longer a viable option. Exploration of other opportunities and any needed training become the focus moving forward.

Complementary and Alternative Therapy

Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, refers to interventions not recognized by traditional medical approaches. They may not be covered by insurance and may include a number of different options that work to support more traditional approaches. CAM therapies believe that there is a strong correlation between the mind, body, and spirit. They may include biofeedback, chiropractic, yoga, acupuncture, and Reiki. Patients may choose one or more of these modalities in addition to more traditional approaches.

The Goal of Rehabilitative Care

It’s important to remember that rehabilitation does not fix injuries, but it does provide patients tools to recover or adjust to life with persistent injuries. Patients and families can assist with the rehabilitation by following these tips:Work with your rehabilitative team to create a treatment plan. While the team is comprised of specialists, they need your input to develop a plan that works well for you. You should be ready to answer questions thoughtfully and honestly, looking toward both short- and long-term goals.

Follow the plan once it’s created. It’s important to create a treatment plan, but it’s more important to implement it. Likely, you will be asked to do exercises at home in addition to during rehabilitation. If you do not put time in on your own, your progress will be slower. Know yourself and your injuries. Asking questions is a good thing, especially when it comes to your injury and treatment plan. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better you will be at adjusting to your lifestyle and changes that occur as a result of your injuries.Stay positive and take each day as it comes.

Working toward recovery following a traumatic injury is time consuming. It’s hard. It can be painful. It can wear down even the most optimistic of people. Keep a journal of your progress and your feelings so that, when things get challenging, you can go back and look at how far you’ve come. Surround yourself with family and friends who lift you up. And tap in to the community of others who have overcome similar challenges.

After the initial trauma is managed, after care becomes a concern. The medical team has a goal of not only keeping victims alive but in helping them live full and productive lives. That is where the rehabilitation occurs. That may include services in the hospital, in long-term care or outpatient facilities, and even at home. Rehabilitation therapies are different from traumatic care, and therefore, the team of professionals will change as the patient’s needs change.

Each care plan is customized to each patient’s needs. The success of such a rehabilitative plan will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries, overall health of the patient, and the individual’s support system. The patient, family members, and caregivers should all be involved in supporting the treatment goals to ensure success.

When rehabilitation becomes a requirement, it is important to consider how medical insurance will cover those costs. While most insurance companies do cover a portion of rehabilitation, it is usually limited in the types of treatment that are covered as well as how long treatment continues. This is another reason it is so important to understand not only the acute nature of injuries but their potential for chronic care as well. There are a number of treatments that fall under the heading of rehabilitative therapies, as well as a variety of ways to provide such care. Traditional therapies include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Less traditional modalities include art and music therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy, or PT, focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries that limit mobility and the ability to perform daily life activities. PT is practiced by licensed physical therapists. Physical therapists work with patients in acute-care settings, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. They may be members of the in-house team or contracted independently. Physical therapists may be generalists or specialists. The primary areas of focus in PT include musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and neurological physiotherapy.

Before PT begins, the physical therapist assesses the patient, both through a verbal intake and physical examination. Following the assessment, the therapist will develop a treatment plan. The plan will identify goals and the interventions that will be used to address those goals. PT can occur with the physical therapist directly, but she may also prescribe exercises to be completed at home.Treatment will include a number of visits each week.

For instance, a plan might include five hours of PT daily with the therapist as well as one hour three days a week at home. The physical therapist may use a variety of approaches during therapy, including heat and ice, electrical and sound stimulation, and adaptive equipment. Throughout their work together, treatment plans will be reviewed to ensure the PT is addressing the changing needs of the patient. Insurance plans also request ongoing communication to ensure coverage is still appropriate.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy, or OT, differs from PT in that it addresses fine motor skills, specifically those that are required in everyday care and living. OT is designed to help patients by modifying the environment so they can attain independence.Similar to the physical therapy process, occupational therapists assess patients and build a treatment plan. They define both short- and long-term goals and may include differing focus areas, such as helping patients with their skills at home and at work.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is the third most widely offered rehabilitation therapy. It is the process of helping patients communicate through speech and language. It also addresses issues associated with swallowing.During an initial meeting with a speech therapist or speech pathologist, the patient will be evaluated. That assessment is used to develop a treatment plan.Speech and language problems can result from many causes, including traumatic brain injury and stroke. Patients who need speech therapy may have difficulty speaking, hearing, and understanding, or difficulty processing information that is heard. Speech therapists teach alternative communication methods, help patients develop or recover communication skills, and address swallowing disorders.

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy is designed to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure components of a patient’s life. Recreational therapists develop skills to enhance everyday lifestyles with the goal of improving quality of life.Modalities involved in recreational therapy include sports, gardening, arts and crafts, social interaction, games, and aquatics, any and all of which can tap into patients’ interests and abilities. Family members and caregivers are incorporated into the therapy and treatment plan as well.

Get Help Now 

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those from DUI accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.

If you have been in a DUI car accident, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.