Damage to your car after an automobile accident is obvious immediately, but that’s not always the case for injuries to your body. You could experience back pain, broken bones, headaches, neck pain, or whiplash, and some of these might not be apparent at first but could impact your health for months or even years.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, it’s important that you see a doctor immediately even if you feel fine following the accident. Why? It could be hours before you start to feel anything because of an adrenaline rush from the accident, or even shock. These conditions both delay pain from injuries. A doctor can examine you for things that you might not be aware of, and get ahead of long-term damage to your back, neck, and spine. Following your medical examination, it’s important that you follow any treatment plans given to you by your doctor and pay attention to any other symptoms that might arise.
Of all the possible injuries from an automobile accident, one of the most common is whiplash. Whiplash is a form of neck strain and occurs when there is a sudden backward or forward jerking of the head. Pain from whiplash might not present itself immediately, but it can include back pain, neck pain, dizziness, headache, neck stiffness, and shoulder pain. In the short term, whiplash is often treated with ice and pain medication to reduce swelling. Long-term treatments can include heat, injections, massages, and physical therapy.
By some accounts, over 35% of new spinal injuries are a result of automobile accidents. This is why it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately following an accident. Some injuries might be mild muscle strains, but others could be as serious as disc herniation or Spondylolisthesis, which is when a vertebra slides out of place. Spondylolisthesis can lead to a pinched nerve or even loss of bladder or bowel control in some cases.
No matter how you feel immediately following an automobile accident, it is in your best interest to seek medical care. While you might only end up with some sore muscles, avoiding complications from more serious conditions is well worth the visit to your doctor or a medical center.