If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you’re probably dealing with all sorts of things. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to arrange for alternate transportation, and whatever plans you had before the accident likely need to be rearranged. Plus you must file an insurance claim — and all that on top of the psychological distress that even a minor accident can cause.
Your body goes into “fight or flight” mode when you have a car accident. That means that adrenaline production is increased — and adrenaline can mask pain. In addition to having natural pain killer coursing through your body, some injuries aren’t immediately apparent.
If you’ve had an auto accident, be aware of the following injuries that are often hidden at first.
Whiplash, or neck strain, is one of the most common injuries during car accidents. That’s because whiplash is sustained when your head is forced backward, then forward, very quickly — as it is when your car collides with something and stops suddenly.
Without proper treatment, you can feel the effects of neck injury for weeks, months, or even years. Dr. Purswani works with whiplash patients to control their pain, restore their range of motion, and prevent future complications.
Another common — and dangerous — injury sustained in car accidents is a concussion. You may not experience symptoms right away, but delayed treatment can lead to a longer recovery time.
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury, usually caused by a blow to the head. You can have a concussion without losing consciousness.
Symptoms can be delayed, and you may not recognize them right away. Some symptoms include:
- Inability to remember the traumatic event
- Ringing in your ears
3. Back or spine injuries
Injuries to your spine, even very serious injuries, are not always apparent right away. If you’ve had a serious accident, or even if the incident was minor but you have significant trauma to your neck or your head, it’s best to assume you have a spinal cord injury.
Swelling and bleeding in or around your spinal cord can cause numbness or paralysis that can affect you gradually. It’s critical to get treatment immediately following a car accident if there’s any chance you have a spinal cord injury.
Less serious, but still of concern, is a slowly developing back injury. Just as the muscles of your neck can be strained due to the impact of an auto accident, so can the muscles of your back. You may not realize that you have sore muscles or pain until a day or two later.
4. Sprains, strains, or other soft tissue injuries
You may not think that it’s likely your feet, ankles, or knees would be injured in a car accident, but it’s relatively common. And, just like the tissues in your neck and back, the tissues in other parts of your body may not hurt right away. Wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries are also common.
If you develop pain in the days after an auto accident, seek treatment. Your pain may well be related to injuries sustained during your wreck.
5. Internal injuries
Just as serious spinal cord injuries can emerge slowly, so can other internal injuries. Internal bleeding may not be immediately obvious, but could be life-threatening. It’s crucial to seek treatment in the aftermath of a car accident, especially if it’s more than a slow-speed fender bender.
Dr. Purswani is an expert in treating pain and personal injury. He works to make sure you don’t develop long-term pain as a result of your accident. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, if you’ve had an auto accident, make an appointment. You can use our easy online booking tool, or call our office in San Antonio during regular business hours.