Involved in an Auto Accident?  

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Care after an auto crash - 3 things you should know



While an auto accident is an unforeseen & unfortunate event, your care & recovery does not have to be.  At Revive Sport & Spine, we excel in caring for the soft tissue & structural damage associated with an auto collision.   


If you have been in an auto accident in Cottonwood Heights or the surrounding area, let our staff know; with just a few items of information, we can directly bill your auto insurance at no cost or inconvenience to you.  With our protocols & whole body assessment & treatment, we get you out of pain quickly & back to what you love doing

Studies have shown that the longer treatment is delayed, time to pre-accident status is significantly delayed.  If you have been in an accident, call us at 801.944.1855. 

Common Injuries Resulting From An Auto Accident

Just as every individual is different, injuries sustained from an auto accident vary in severity and complexity from one person to another based on variables such as speed, impact direction, seat belts, airbag deployment, etc.   While speed is a relative factor, injury severity does not depend on it.  Injury can occur at speeds under 10 MPH and can even be worse than an accident that occurred at speeds over 50 MPH.  Onset of injury can also vary from one person to another due to shock, hormonal responses such as adrenaline, loss of consciousness, prior existing injuries, and can cause the full effect of the accident to be delayed up to 72 hours.  

  • WHiplash - Hyperflexion/HYperextension injury

  • cervical/thoracic/lumbar strain-sprain

  • upper extremity injury

    • This usually comes from bracing and protecting.  Something as simple as gripping the steering wheel can cause extreme forces to pass from the automobile to you through your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints.  There is also a high incidence of injury to the left shoulder in response to a secure seat belt.  Many offices over look these injuries, as well as those to the lower extremity, but are frequently the the most lasting and life interrupting injuries from an accident.  
  • lower extremity injury

    • Just as with the upper extremity, the lower can become injured from slamming on the brake pedal or bracing before impact.  Ankle, knee and hip joints can be injured in the most basic, low impact accidents causing long lasting and even secondary problems later if not addressed correctly.  At Revive Sport & Spine, we look at the whole person and address every issue, large or small.  
  • soft tissue injury

    • Soft tissues are the molding that holds us together, and the most damaged structure in any accident.  While the spine and joints take a beating, it is the muscles, ligaments and tendons that really suffer, and take the most time to heal.  Soft tissue injuries go through many phases of healing, and many are surprised to hear how long they actually take to heal.  
      • Acute Phase - Moment of impact to 72 hours.  The goal here is to limit further damage and manage the inflammatory response; yes, inflammation is good to a certain degree.  
      • Sub-Acute, Tissue Repair Phase.  This is where people are surprised, this phase can last 4-8 weeks depending on severity, adherence to limitations, and commitment from the doctor and patient to treatment and exercise program.  This is the time of tissue repair and scar tissue formation.  
      • Remodeling Phase - This phase can last up to a year or more past the original injury date.  Now we do not intend nor want you to visit our office for this long but it is important to realize that care for oneself must continue as treatment in our office is completed.  It is during this time that you are able to stress, strengthen, and stretch the scar tissue into a functional tissue that once existed.  

Unsure If You Need Care After An Auto Accident?  Take Our Self-Assessment Today.

What Is Whiplash?

A hyperflexion-hyperextension injury, better know as whiplash, is the most common injury sustained in an automobile accident.  This often occurs from a rear-end collision, causing the passengers to be thrust forward, causing the cervical spine to go backwards excessively (hyperextension) followed immediately by the head being thrust forward causing an excessive forward movement (hyperflexion) at the upper cervical spine.  Not only are there a vast amount of muscle and ligament attachments with the cervical spine, and the movement of this nature causes some serious damage to their well-being and function, but many other valuable structure such as cranial nerve and the brachial plexus, the nerves that supply the arm, originate from this area as well.

A Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) is graded depending on severity and the symptoms that present.

  • WAD Grade I:  Neck Pain Complaint
  • WAD Grade II: Neck Complaint and Musculoskeletal Signs
  • WAD Grade III: Neck Complaint and Neurological Signs
  • WAD Grade IV: Neck Complaint and Suspected Fracture or Dislocation

While each presentation is different, symptoms commonly experienced by patients who receive treatment and relief at Revive Sport & Spine include:

  • Neck, Upper Back & Shoulder Pain & Stiffness
  • Vertigo, Dizziness, Loss of Balance & Coordination
  • Visual Disturbance, Double Vision
  • Tinnitus - Ringing in the Ears
  • Arm Pain, Numbness & Tingling
  • Emotional Disturbances: Anxiety, Fear, Depression, Anger
  • Sleep Disruption, Inability to Fall Asleep

What Are My Options?


According to Utah Law 31A-22-307, Personal Injury Protection Coverages and Benefits:

Personal injury protection coverages and benefits include: (a)up to the minimum amount required coverage of not less than $3,000 per person, the reasonable value of all expenses for necessary: (i)medical services; (ii)surgical services; (iii)X-ray services; (iv)dental services; (v)rehabilitation services, including prosthetic devices; (vi)ambulance services; (vii)hospital services; and (viii)nursing services. 

What Does The Research Say?

At Revive Sport & Spine, we focus on a three tier approach to your care.  As mentioned above, soft tissues are often the most damaged and require the most care during treatment, this is why the majority of our time is working through the tissues with our many available techniques and modalities.  The second phase of our treatment is the normalization and manipulation of any restricted joints, spine or extremity.  Third, and this may be the most important to your success, rehabilitative exercise.  Almost all structures can benefit from stronger supporting muscles or the activation of damaged and neurologically lagging muscles.  We center our exercises on symmetry, endurance, and strength.  We know that if an injured tissue is not prepared to handle your daily life, it will fail again and again.  Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools to build a stronger body outside of our office; one that is more functional, efficient and movable.  

While we at Revive Sport & Spine encourage treatment as soon as possible after an accident, exercises that Dr. Reheisse demonstrates and coaches patients to perform have been show to be effect for those in a chronic stage of whiplash or those suffering from injuries six month past the date of injury.  According to one study, exercise therapy, performed twice weekly, was effective in reducing chronic pain (1).  This group also demonstrated that patients who added in a body awareness program into their exercise, meaning those that stimulated balance & proprioception, had and even greater reduction of pain.  Whole body vibration is an effective tool to stimulate proprioception & balance, and is offered in our Cottonwood Heights office.  

Another study demonstrated that combined programs that included strength training, range of motion exercises, and flexibility work were effective in the management of persistent pain associated with whiplash (2).  The Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management Collaboration showed that care which involved manual therapy (soft tissue and joint mobilization), education, and exercise provide better outcomes (3).  



  • Active care has been show to be more beneficial and decrease healing time in select populations.  Patients are encouraged to resume normal activities as soon as possible with reassurance of the safety of activity.
  • We know that with lower grade Whiplash disorders, cervical collars have delayed healing (4).  
  • Exercises prescribed and overseen by a physician have been shown multiple times to be beneficial in the progress of care and return to normal function (5). 
  • Neck mobilization has been show to be an effective treatment for pain and headaches in patients with neck and whiplash associated disorders (6). 
  • Normal movements may be uncomfortable at first but pain does not always mean more harm is being done.  
  • While they save lives each and everyday, and we strongly encourage their use, seat belts increase the likelihood of a WAD.   


(1) Aris Seferiadis,Pernilla OhlinAnnika Billhult & Ronny Gunnarsson. Basic body awareness therapy or exercise therapy for the treatment of chronic whiplash associated disorders: a randomized comparative clinical trial.  Disability & Rehabilitation. 2015.  
(2) Southerst D, Nordin M, Cote P, Shearer H, Varatharajan S, Yu H, Wong J, Sutton D, Randhawa K, Van Der Veide G, Mior S, Carroll L, Jacobs C, Taylor-Vaisey A.  Is exercise effective for the management of neck pain and associated disorders or whiplash associated disorders? A systematic review by the Ontarior Protocol for Traffic Injury Management Collaboration.  The Spine Journal, Feb. 2014. 
(3) Southerst D, Nordin M, Cote P, Shearer H, Varatharajan S, Yu H, Wong J, Sutton D, Randhawa K, Van Der Veide G, Mior S, Carroll L, Jacobs C, Taylor-Vaisey A.  Is multimodal care effective for the management of patients with whiplash-assocaited disorder or neck pain and associated disorders?  A systematic review by the Ontarior Protocol for Traffic Injury Management Collaboration.  The Spine Journal. July 2014.  
(4) Rodriquez AA, Barr KP, Burns SP; Whiplash: pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Muscle Nerve. 2004 Jun;29(6):768-81
(5) Kay TM, Gross A, Goldsmith CH, et al; Exercises for mechanical neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Aug 15;8:CD004250. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004250.pub4
(6) Gross A, Miller J, D'Sylva J, et al; Manipulation or mobilisation for neck pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD004249. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004249.pub3

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