Did you know that a minimum of 2.5 million Americans visits the emergency room every year with car accident injuries? While it’s advisable to always see a doctor after a crash, many choose not to receive medical care, as they are unaware they have actually been injured.
After a car accident, the body can react with a rush of adrenaline, causing those involved to feel hyper-alert and even stronger. Also, injuries or shock can cause the body to produce pain-relieving endorphins, leading people to believe they are not actually hurt.
However, the adrenaline and endorphins will eventually wear off. After a few days, you will typically begin to experience pain and start noticing symptoms. This is when injuries become more apparent. Here are the five most common types of delayed car accident injuries following a crash.
1. Car Accident Injuries Involving the Head
A headache is a common symptom after a car accident head injury. You may experience headaches several weeks after the accident. In some cases, the headache will subside. However, this headache may be more severe than you think.
A concussion is a car accident brain injury that occurs due to delayed treatment. The concussed person will exhibit slurred speech, become forgetful, have a sensitivity to light, and develop a sleep disorder.
A doctor will advise the best course of action for treating a concussion and may have to prescribe medication to manage the pain. Regardless, do not self-medicate, as this can result in long-term ailments–or even death.
2. Back Pain
You will experience back pains within the first week. The pain may subside within six weeks if your back injury from a car accident is not very severe. Some methods to ease your back pain include: resting, using ice, massage therapy, avoiding sitting for long periods, and using painkillers.
Although you should see a doctor, regardless, numbness, muscle spasms, or a tingling sensation, are definite indicators that you must seek medical help. These listed sensations occur when your spine is misaligned. Due to the misalignment, the spine exerts pressure on the sciatic nerves, which aid in leg movement.
Failure to correct the misplacement can lead to paralysis. A chiropractor will adjust your spine to sit in place and reduce your back pain to prevent this possibility.
3. Neck Pain
You may experience neck pains immediately or after a few days. A common cause for neck pain during car accident injuries is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head is suddenly thrust forward or backward with great force after impacting another car.
Another reason why neck pains occur is due to a slipped disc. Discs protect your neck bones by absorbing shock from walking or turning. When the disc is out of place, you will begin to experience pain and numbness in the neck.
Due to the high risk of paralysis from a neck injury, visit a doctor as soon as you start experiencing neck pain or stiffness. Through an x-ray, your doctor will determine the cause of your neck pain and diagnose you accordingly.
If your neck pain is caused by whiplash, the doctor will likely prescribe aspirin. However, if the pain was not due to whiplash, it may be a sign of an injured spine. If that is the case, you may be referred to a specialist where tests will be run. Depending on the results, surgery may need to be performed to correct the spine and avoid paralyzation.
4. Abdominal Pain
If you experience stomach pains after an accident, you may have suffered internal bleeding or internal injuries. The pain may occur from debris like stones or glass hitting your stomach or by seatbelts squeezing your abdomen.
The visible signs of internal bleeding you should observe are a deep purple bruise on your stomach, nausea, dizziness, and abdominal swelling. The symptoms of internal bleeding may take several days to appear. To be safe, go for a medical check-up even before the symptoms appear.
Internal bleeding is lethal since it kills within thirty days. To prevent further blood loss, your doctor will carry out blood and platelet transfusion, which can curb more blood loss.
5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a psychological disorder that emerges when a person experiences a traumatizing event. The condition may appear after a few days or several years later. Not all injuries after a car accident are physical, so it is also essential to watch out for psychological injuries.
It is normal for people to experience feelings of shock, helplessness, or fear after an accident. However, if the accident victim exhibits these emotions several days after the accident, they may have PTSD.