Car Accident Injury Symptoms to Watch For

Car accidents can change lives in the blink of an eye. Not only can your car be damaged or totaled causing a big disruption to your life, but car accident injuries can change people’s lives forever as well.

Not all car accident injuries are severe enough to need immediate attention at an emergency room. Sometimes people walk away from a car accident and they feel lucky that they weren’t injured. It may be the case that they weren’t injured, but it is important for anyone involved in a collision to be aware of injuries that may have delayed onset that weren’t obvious to you at the time of the accident.

Common Symptoms of Injury After a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, here are 3 of the most common injury symptoms to watch for.

1. Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is an injury to the neck when the head is forcefully whipped back and forth. This is commonly seen after a rear-end car accident. The fast movement of the head can overstretch and damage the ligaments in the neck. When the ligaments are loose or torn, it can cause neck pain, headaches, decreased range of motion and several other negative symptoms. Studies have found that about 50% of people injured in a car accident will continue to experience neck pain for one year after the collision. It is important to be evaluated immediately. Sometimes these symptoms do not show up for weeks or even months and not treating a whiplash injury could lead to a lifetime of issues.

2. Brain Fog or Tiredness

Car accidents can be very overwhelming and stressful. Being “run down” and exhausted after dealing with auto insurance, car repairs and doctor appointments is understandable. However, how do you know when this feeling is no longer normal and putting you at risk for serious long-term effects? Emotional distress, confusion, brain fog, and chronic fatigue could be signs of a concussion, brain injury, whiplash, or other injuries caused by the accident. Diagnostic testing and proper evaluations are critical to understand the seriousness of the symptoms and prevent further damage.

3. Numbness and Tingling

Our bodies have an amazing way of letting us know that something is wrong. When there is numbness or tingling in the hands, fingers, legs or feet, it is a warning sign from the nerves that something is wrong. After an accident, the discs that are between each spinal bone, and the ligaments surrounding them, can become damaged. Imagine a hard bone pressing down on a soft nerve. When this happens, pressure can be put on the nerves that control every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. Numbness and tingling are common signs that there is too much pressure being put on those nerves in the neck or low back. It is important for the proper testing and examination to be done to determine how much pressure is being put on the nerve and to create a medical plan to correct it.

What Are Hidden Injuries? 

Many of the above symptoms can be signs of hidden injuries. These are real injuries that may be difficult to detect without proper training and whose symptoms might not show up right away, making them even harder to find. It could take days, weeks, and even months for symptoms from hidden injuries to show up.

Some types of hidden injuries are: 

  • Concussion. A concussion is one of the most common forms of hidden injuries and is actually a mild form of traumatic brain injury. Even with a seatbelt on, it is possible to hit your head in an auto accident. Undiagnosed, a concussion can result in long-lasting headaches, mood swings, and memory loss.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury. The most severe of the physical hidden injuries is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The accident can cause swelling or bleeding in your brain and you may be completely unaware of it until the symptoms surface like the loss of emotional or impulse control, memory loss, or the loss of other brain function. Left untreated, traumatic brain injuries can be extremely dangerous.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. An auto accident is a traumatic event and can leave some people with PTSD. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, fear of getting behind the wheel again, difficulty sleeping, and problems focusing on even simple tasks.

Get Seen Quickly After a Car Accident at Complete Care

Unfortunately, many people injured in auto accidents do not seek medical treatment and suffer from chronic pain that could have been prevented. That is why it is so important to have a medical evaluation to rule out whiplash and soft tissue damage. At Complete Care, our doctors can perform a proper exam, diagnose injuries and provide treatment.

If you are in a car accident and don’t feel like you have been injured, it’s a safe bet to get a screening. You could avoid a lifetime of issues by having an evaluation.

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t wait to be seen by a doctor. As little as 14 days without treatment can lead to a lifetime of pain. Call Complete Care today to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.


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