It is estimated that around two million Americans sustain injuries each year in car accidents. These injuries can vary from minor bruises and bumps to life-threatening. After a car accident, many people do realize that they are injured because of the obvious signs and symptoms. However, there are others, who do not experience or feel the initial signs of injury right after an auto accident. This can be because it is a hidden injury, or one that comes with delayed symptoms.
It is important to know that you are truly unharmed after a car accident, even if you do not have a single scratch on your body. Sometimes, you don’t realize you are injured and in pain because the adrenaline in your body goes into full swing. This helps you persevere and push forward regardless of the injuries – what medical professionals call Fight or Flight response.
If you have been in a car accident, it is important to be examined by a doctor if you are experiencing any of these seven delayed injury symptoms.
If your vehicle was involved in a rear-end collision, particularly at speeds less than 10 miles per hour, you are more likely to experience a whiplash injury (cervical strain). In fact, whiplash injuries are the most common delayed symptom that impacts car accident victims. Individuals generally experience mild, moderate or severe shoulder pain or neck pain.
At times, people may experience both, and it can also be accompanied by stiffness. These injuries need prompt diagnosis with the help of a thorough physical exam and X-rays followed by MRIs or CT scans as needed.
Headaches may occur immediately or up to a few days after a car accident. Most of the time these headaches will be tolerable and short-lived, but they also can be a sign of a more serious health problem. For instance, it can be a warning sign of a serious concussion, a blood clot in the brain or a serious injury to the neck.
Whiplash injury does not always cause shoulder or neck pain. Sometimes, this injury, also known as Whiplash Associated Disorder, manifests in the form of numbness. This injury can cause a lack of sensation or feeling or tingling in your hands and arms. This may occur because of damage or injury to nerves exiting the spinal column.
It is estimated that around 20 percent of people who experience rear end car accidents suffer from symptoms of whiplash (cervical strain), either immediately or as a delayed symptom.
If you experience back pain after an accident, it is usually due to damage or injury to the ligaments, muscles or nerves in the back. It may be an immediate or delayed injury symptom, especially in cases of rear impact collisions. Back pain is a symptom that appears in approximately three-quarters of all side impact crashes.
Pain in the back may be diagnosed as a soft tissue injury, herniated disc, or even a fracture. If you experience a tingling sensation or a certain kind of numbness in the back area, radiating into the buttock or down the leg you may have “pinched nerves.”
If you experience changes in personality or difficulties carrying out activities of daily living, it could be a sign that you have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms that may occur after an accident may include feelings of depression, impaired thinking or memory, behavioral changes, mobility problems or issues with hearing and vision.
According to reports, car accidents are the second leading cause of death due to traumatic brain injuries and the third most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
If you experience abdominal swelling or pain, you may be experiencing internal bleeding or hemorrhage. Some other symptoms of this condition include dizziness, fainting spells and large areas of deep purple bruising. Internal bleeding is a serious condition and may go unnoticed for hours and sometimes even days.
If not diagnosed in a timely fashion, internal bleeding can be a life-threatening condition. The importance of a quality medical group in this instance cannot be overstated.
PTSD is a mental disorder that occurs after a serious event. Individuals who are witness to serious trauma may develop PTSD. Although it is commonly found in victims of sexual assault or combat veterans, it can also occur in individuals who are involved in car accidents. PTSD can be subtle in onset and gradually worsen, gravely affecting normal functioning and quality of life.
Some people may experience distressing and vivid flashbacks as well as nightmares. It is important for those who have PTSD to get immediate medical help to overcome this condition in a productive and secure way.
If a person who has been involved in a recent car accident experiences any of these signs and symptoms a few hours or even days after the traumatic event, it is imperative that they gain immediate medical attention right away. As time goes by his/her condition can get worse. It is important to address these issues right away before they cause a severe disruption in everyday life.
Remember, when the adrenaline (fight or flight response) has worn off, and you begin to experience signs and symptoms of discomfort in any part of your body after a car accident- get evaluated by a quality physician. Come to Chambers Medical Group or give us a call at 1-866-BackMan so that an experienced and trained car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor who is well-versed in car accident injury symptoms can offer the care that you and your family deserve.
Chambers Medical group has car accident doctors and chiropractors in the following locations: