If you're ever in a car accident, you should consider yourself lucky to walk away from the wreck with only vehicle damage and minor bodily harm.Maybe you have a few cuts, scratches, or bruises, but you otherwise feel fine and are fortunate enough to avoid serious injury.
Or were you?
Some accident injuries aren't immediately obvious.
In the days or weeks that follow your accident, you might start to notice changes in your health.
If you don't have those changes checked out right away, they could lead to severe and even potentially fatal injuries.
The article below will discuss several delayed accident symptoms that people involved in car accidents should be on the lookout for, even if your accident was a seemingly minor one.
If you haven't been seen by a doctor after your accident, you should get medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you notice any of these delayed symptoms.
Table of Contents
- Headaches Or Dizziness
- Neck or Shoulder Stiffness
- Internal Bleeding
- Back Pain
- Emotional Injuries
- Pay Attention To Your Symptoms
Headaches Or Dizziness
A concussion, blood clot, neck injury, or whiplash may result in dizziness or headaches, but these symptoms may be delayed.
Some of these injuries can be serious, so you will want to seek medical attention for a headache, even if you think it's not serious.
You also need to be aware of the risk of a traumatic brain injury.
If you hit your head or your body is thrown violently in an accident, your brain's soft tissue may strike the hard interior skull of your head.
This could cause swelling, bruising, bleeding, and damage to the brain tissue.
A traumatic brain injury like this can be life-threatening, even though you may feel fine immediately following your accident.
Headaches are usually the first symptom you'll experience if you have suffered a brain injury.
Unfortunately, many people won't associate the headache with the car accident or shrug off headaches or dizziness after a car accident.
You could assume it's just a regular headache or blame it on something other than the accident.
But ignoring dizziness, vision problems, or other head injury symptoms can prove to be fatal.
If you have been in a severe accident and hit your head, it's in your best interest to get evaluated by a doctor for a concussion or brain injury, just in case.
If you develop any brain injury symptoms after your crash, even if it's days later, get re-evaluated. It may be a medical emergency.
Whiplash is a prevalent injury you could experience if you're in a car accident.
Whiplash is caused by the sudden jerking motion of the neck and head that happens during impact.
Whiplash strains the tendons in the neck and shoulders beyond their normal range of motion, causing damage.
Sometimes victims experience pain and discomfort from whiplash immediately.
Most of the time, though, it's very common for whiplash symptoms to show up hours or days after the accident.
If you experience neck and shoulder pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention.
If you have whiplash, you may also experience headaches, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and trouble sleeping.
Sometimes minor cases of whiplash will heal on their own.
More severe cases, however, need medical attention.
These symptoms can also indicate a spinal injury that will need immediate treatment.
Neck or Shoulder Stiffness
The impact of a car accident can damage the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your neck and shoulders.
These symptoms do not always immediately reveal themselves.
If you develop stiffness in your neck and shoulders during the aftermath of the crash, you may have whiplash, a rotator cuff injury, or another form of soft tissue damage.
Ignoring these symptoms will only make your condition worse.
Brushing off your symptoms can lead to chronic, debilitating pain that could prevent you from working, doing tasks around the home, or enjoying life as you should.
If you develop any of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor who can diagnose your injury and order imaging tests like an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Internal bleeding often goes undiscovered for days after car accidents.
However, it is a life-threatening injury that should never be taken lightly.
A typical sign of internal bleeding is abdominal pain.
Large, dark bruises, dizziness, and fainting spells can all also be symptoms.
Since internal bleeding can go undiscovered for so long, it's always good to get checked out immediately after your accident.
Nagging back pain after a car accident can be a sign that you suffered a severe injury.
That pain may also radiate down to your legs and buttocks.
Back pain like this can be a sign of muscle or ligament damage in your back.
Or it could be a sign of something more severe, like a pinched or compressed nerve, cracked vertebrae, or a herniated disc or a bulging disc.
You need to see a chiropractor so they can address the problem immediately.
Back injuries can significantly decrease your mobility.
It may eventually prevent you from standing or sitting for prolonged periods, affecting your ability to work and earn a living.
Physical injuries aren't the only types of injuries you can sustain during a car accident.
Many people involved in car accidents are strongly impacted emotionally to the point that they experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Being nervous and uncomfortable on the road after a traumatic accident is quite normal.
But some people also experience vivid flashbacks and nightmares about what happened during the car accident.
This happens a lot in young children involved in accidents.
Many other people develop depression and anxiety after an accident.
In extreme cases, the emotional damage is so substantial that people need therapy before getting out on the road again.
Pay Attention To Your Symptoms
Just because you walk away from a car accident without serious injuries doesn't mean you're out of the woods yet.
We just went over several delayed symptoms you could develop in the hours or days after your accident.
Always be mindful of the symptoms we listed above, and visit your doctor if you start to develop any of them.
When your health is on the line, you need to be extra careful.
You can also seek chiropractic care after your car accident. Your chiropractor will perform a physical exam to see if you suffered any injuries.
If you have, they will develop a treatment plan tailored to the issues they found that will bring you back to full health.
If you don't have a chiropractor, contact Florida Spine and Injury. They offer a free consultation to all first-time patients.
To schedule your Free Consultation with Florida Spine and Injury, click the button below.