Don’t ignore these delayed injury symptoms after a car accident   

As much as we try to avoid them, car accidents remain a common occurrence. Depending on the severity of the accident, consequences can range from mere scratches and bruises to serious or even fatal injuries. So, if you walk away unharmed from an accident, you can consider yourself lucky. 

However, just because you’re feeling completely fine immediately after the impact, and there are no visible injuries on your body, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods just yet. What many people don’t realise is that some of the repercussions of a car accident are not immediately visible. 

The adrenaline rush you experience during such a traumatic event can mask the symptoms temporarily, giving you the false impression that you are in perfect health condition and you have nothing to worry about. This is one of the body’s natural defence mechanisms that helps you cope with stress and pain. Each person reacts differently to these events. While some people experience symptoms immediately, others might not feel anything until days or even weeks after the accident. 

Therefore, if you’ve been involved in a car accident and got to walk away on your own two feet, don’t be so quick to assume you’re fine. Instead, try to stay alert and be aware of the next delayed symptoms that might appear in the near future.  

Headaches

A car accident can give you a major headache, quite literally. It’s quite normal to develop a headache right after the accident, due to the shock and stress caused by the event. In most cases, they’ll go away on their own once you have calmed down. 

However, if the headache does not subside, it might be a sign there’s more to it than mere stress and tension. Other issues such as a blood clot in the brain, a concussion, or a neck or head injury could be the cause of your headaches. As you can assume, leaving any of these issues untreated can pose a serious threat to your health. The only way to rule out these possibilities is by seeking immediate medical attention. 

Neck pain

Neck and shoulder pain occur frequently after a car accident, and they usually relate to whiplash – the most common form of neck injury sustained through a vehicle collision.  Whiplash occurs mostly in rear-end crashes. As the head jerks back and forth suddenly, the nerves, joints, and muscles in the neck are overexerted, resulting in pain.  

While most people experience this type of pain right after the incident, others might not notice any symptoms until later on. The pain in the neck and shoulders can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as neck stiffness, persistent headaches, or blurred vision. If whiplash isn’t the cause of the pain, a spinal cord injury might be the source. Only a doctor can give an accurate diagnosis and provide the necessary treatment to help relieve these symptoms. 

Back pain

Just like neck and shoulder pain, back pain can also appear a while after being involved in a car crash. This is usually a sign of a spinal injury or a herniated disc, but whiplash, sprains or a soft tissue injury can also be at play. All these symptoms can take a serious toll on your health and cause you a lot of suffering. 

Keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation after a car crash in the UK if you can prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and the injuries you’ve suffered. But compensation aside, the most important thing to consider is going to the doctors and receiving adequate treatment as soon as possible. 

Numbness and tingling

Numbness and tinging might not appear to be such a big deal. After all, if you’re not feeling any pain, there’s not much to worry about, right? However, these seemingly minor inconveniences can reveal a much more serious issue than you imagine. Sometimes, whiplash doesn’t manifest through neck or back pain, but through numbness or a tingling sensation in your hands and arms. 

The reason why this happens is that the nerves surrounding your spine have been damaged. Without proper treatment, this sensation might persist, so seeing a specialist is a must in order to address the issue. 

Pain in the abdomen

Feeling pain in the abdomen after a car accident is never a good sign. The pain can result from an injury caused by your seat belt, but internal bleeding can also be the culprit. What makes internal bleeding so dangerous is the fact that it can go unnoticed for hours or even days and thus put your life at risk. 

Purple bruising, dizziness, or fainting can also point toward internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is not something you should take lightly, so as soon as you notice any of these signs, you should waste no time and rush to the hospital.

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health disorder that develops, just as the name suggests, after a traumatic or extremely stressful event. Since car crashes can obviously be included in this category, it’s fairly common for accident victims to develop PTSD in the wake of a vehicle collision.  

However, being a mental disorder with complex and sometimes subtle symptoms, PTSD can often go undetected for long periods of time, and that prevents people from seeking symptoms. However, if you notice symptoms such as intrusive thoughts about the accident, anxiety about driving, nightmares, or a general state of fear and anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away, you might want to talk to a medical professional about it. 

As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong, even if you feel perfectly fine immediately after a car accident. If you want to stay safe and reduce the risk of serious health issues, it’s important to keep an eye out for these delayed injury symptoms and go to the doctors as soon as you spot any of the signs. 

LA Weekly