Did you know that many injuries from car accidents may not be noticeable right away? If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident, this guest post by Karen Boyarsky will be an important read!
No matter what the severity, a car accident is something that stays with you a long time. Even small traffic collision can be an extremely stressful event and impact you and your family emotionally as well as physically. You may walk away from a crash with minor bruises and some soreness, but many of the most common accident-related injuries may not surface right away and could be difficult to diagnose.
As a result of the trauma of the accident, your body releases endorphins, which could mask your pain. In the days following a car accident, it is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of internal injuries, which can affect practically any area of your body. The bottom line is you need to listen carefully to your body.
1. Back and Spine Injuries
When you’re in a car accident, the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle is bound to have an impact on you internally. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are easily strained or even torn — not to mention the possibility of a cracked vertebrae.
Car accidents are the number one cause of spinal injuries. If you are experiencing back pain that is intense and doesn’t go away in the first day or two after an accident, especially if there is any tingling of limbs involved, it is possible you could have sustained a serious back injury.
Some of these injuries, like slipped discs, may be easy to diagnose, but others may require an MRI of the spine.
2. Head and Neck Injuries
Whiplash, one of the most common car accident injuries, is a very real condition caused by the sudden distortion or extension of the neck. It occurs very frequently in rear-end collisions and can take weeks, even months, to present itself. Usually, the symptoms are stiffness, dizziness, headache and pain, but more serious symptoms can occur.
Because whiplash refers to a range of possible injuries to the neck, it’s very common – if you think you have whiplash after a car accident, you probably do. It usually heals over several months, but it is worth it to talk to a doctor about the extent of your pain so you can get help diagnosing the severity.
Head and brain injuries are also a serious possibility after a car accident, and they may not be evident right away. Most victims of an accident experience some level of stress, trauma and even depression or PTSD, but sometimes these symptoms indicate a deeper problem, especially when they are accompanied by any kind of disorientation, memory loss or seizures.
If you are experiencing psychological issues after a car accident and finding it hard to concentrate in your day-to-day life, you want to rule out a Traumatic Brain Injury. You may think your symptoms aren’t serious, but it’s very possible they are.
3. Injuries from Seat Belts and Airbags
Seat belts have been known to reduce your chances of sustaining a fatal injury in a car accident by nearly half, and when used in conjunction with an airbag, your chances for survival are even greater. However, many minor and some major injuries can occur because of these safety devices. Lap belts can cause injuries to the spine and abdomen and even damage internal organs. Belts with a diagonal strap can fracture the sternum and cause injuries to the ribs.
And airbags can injure you if you are too close to the steering wheel when they deploy – usually ten inches or less. Airbags can cause all variety of injuries, from jaw injuries and facial trauma including abrasions and burns, to injuries of the chest, ribs and abdomen. If these devices were involved in your accident, there is a strong chance you might have suffered at least minor damage.
The most important thing you can do after a car accident is listen to your body. You know when something is not right physically or mentally, and even if it seems minor, the sheer number of internal injuries you can suffer after a traumatic event that go unnoticed for weeks or months means it makes sense to see a professional. A car accident makes you question your safety – so there is no better time to make the safest choices for yourself and your loved ones than you can.
About the Author
Karen Boyarsky is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Boyarsky_kareni.
Have you ever been in a car accident? How serious were your injuries and how did you heal from them?