After an automobile accident, it is important to get the care you need. Vital pain indicators can be masked or delayed and therefore are easily ignored due to the surge of endorphins and adrenaline released during the accident. This means you need to pay extra close attention to your body by addressing somatic concerns – as well as any pain you might be experiencing – as soon as possible.
Here is a quick overview of what you need to know about some of the most common symptoms and injuries that can be a signs of more serious injuries often overlooked after an auto accident.
Whiplash is the most common type of injury found in auto accident patients. It occurs when the head is suddenly jolted from a natural position with the force of impact. When whiplash occurs, it is important to have a medical professional examine the soft tissue in the neck area for signs of damage to ligaments and/or disc or nerve before the condition worsens. Some symptoms of whiplash are:
- Neck pain
- Limited Range of Motion
Spinal Injuries vary in severity and can greatly worsen if not treated early. When the spinal column absorbs the impact of a collision, it is common to see spinal nerve damage in conjunction with a herniated disc from the force of impact or in some cases aggravated degenerative disc disease, which is a loss of fluid in discs and can lead to variations of Spinal Stenosis. The following are other indicators of a possible spinal injury:
- Muscle Spasm
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
- Loss of Balance
- Lower Back Pain
- Leg Pain
- Muscle Weakness
Headaches are a sign of a possible head injury. Headaches can vary in frequency, severity and duration. While Headaches may be a symptom of whiplash, headaches can also be a sign of more serious traumatic brain injuries that require immediate care. We often see these types of injuries after side impact collisions. If you have a head injury, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty Chewing
- Jaw Stiffness or Popping
- Sleep Disturbance
- Ears Ringing
- Dizziness or Vertigo
Head Trauma or Traumatic Brain Injury can be difficult to identify independently because symptoms are very similar to a concussion and can mirror symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Feeling confused or having a strong emotional response are signs that the brain may have sustained injury. Other potential symptoms of head trauma are:
- Changes to Vision
- Brain Fog
- Memory Loss
- Emotional Changes
The time following an automobile accident can be frustrating and stressful emotionally, physically and financially. It’s more important than ever during these times to listen and take care of ourselves, especially if more than one family member or friend was in the car with you.
The truth is that if we cannot take care of ourselves, then we cannot take care of others.