During a car accident, your body goes through an extremely rapid and intense acceleration and deceleration. The sudden force can strain and injure multiple areas of your body in an instant. You need to be on the lookout for injuries with delayed symptoms because it’s not unusual for a driver or passenger to walk away from a collision with potentially serious injuries—without knowing it.
Why Are Some Symptoms Delayed?
Pain can be delayed by the release of endorphins produced by the body shortly after the initial shock of a car accident. Even a minor fender bender can release a shot of pain-masking endorphins. Once the threat of the accident is gone, endorphins disappear, allowing you to feel the pain of the traumatic injuries. And it’s the physiological nature of musculoskeletal injuries to take time to fully appear. That’s the reason most commonly delayed symptoms tend to be musculoskeletal.
Whiplash is the most commonly delayed symptom after a car accident. Upon impact, the driver or passenger’s seat-belted body is accelerated with the car, but the head lags behind resulting in a whiplash motion to the head and neck. The jarring forces of impact are absorbed by the body causing damage at its weakest links. For example, women are more vulnerable to whiplash injuries because their neck muscles are typically less developed then men’s to support a similar size head.
Whiplash injuries can also occur with sports injuries, falls, and any activity that causes a sudden thrusting of the head and neck.
Whiplash can include any or all of the following symptoms:
- neck & upper back pain, tightness & decreased range of motion in the neck
- muscles may be stiff, sore and knotted
- pain or stiffness in the shoulders and arms
- jaw pain, including pain when opening or closing the mouth
- numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or hands
- dizziness (feeling lightheaded or losing balance)
- vertigo (the feeling that the room is spinning)
- blurry vision
- ringing in the ears or ear pain
Whiplash injuries can be very serious and are often overlooked in the emergency room due to their delayed onset. Whiplash symptoms can not only make life unpleasant, they can make everyday tasks around the home and at work considerably more difficult.
While some headaches are the result of a concussion during a crash, most are related to referred pain from injury of the muscles, ligaments and facet joints of the neck. If the headache worsens or persists, is accompanied by weakness or trouble talking, confusion, nausea or excessive sleepiness, you should seek emergency medical care, as these may be signs of a closed head injury.
What are some common causes of headaches after a car accident?
- blow to the head
- concussion or brain injury
- post-traumatic headache or migraine
3. Back Pain
Back pain results from the sudden impact to the muscles, ligaments, discs, nerves, or vertebrae. The tissues can be strained or sprained causing pain and discomfort. A car accident can also make a prior back problem worse.
Failure to receive proper treatment for musculoskeletal injuries can result in poor healing, reduced range of motion and long-term chronic pain issues.
Restore Your Body’s Health: Think Holistic
Initial medical treatment for the typical auto injury usually includes painkillers, prescription muscle relaxers, ice packs, and possibly a brace. This does little to rehabilitate the injured tissues to avoid long-term problems.
Traditional care offers temporary symptom relief. Wellspring uses a multi-disciplinary holistic approach that addresses the root cause of your pain, combining multiple, non-invasive pain management techniques in one integrated solution.
Pain is very personal. We take the time necessary to work with you to identify and treat the root cause of your pain.
Who Pays For Car Accident Injury Treatment?
According to Minnesota No-Fault Laws, in most cases your own auto insurance pays for any medical bills, diagnostic tests, or other treatment that you need. You should consider delaying any release of liability or settlement with your auto insurance company for several weeks so that delayed symptoms have the opportunity to reveal themselves.
We’ve Got You Covered
Our services (medical, physical therapy and massage therapy) are covered 100% by auto insurance. Our experienced staff will file the insurance claims for you and they have the knowledge to navigate through any issues that may occur along the way.
If you’re experiencing delayed symptoms from a car accident, come and see us for a Complimentary Consultation.