5 Hidden Injuries Car Accident Doctors Can Spot That You May Miss

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may notice scrapes, bruises, and even obvious injuries like a broken bone. But car accidents are also notorious for hidden injuries that come with delayed symptoms. That means you might not experience symptoms right away, or think you can shake off a bit of muscle soreness or a headache. When it comes to car accident injuries, it is better to be proactive and get checked out by an accident doctor. The stress of a traumatic experience like a car accident can signal adrenaline to start pumping through your body. While the adrenaline helps to jumpstart your flight or fight reflexes and protect you in the moment, it can also mask pain and other symptoms of a hidden injury. It is very common for symptoms of a car accident injury to begin to appear hours or even days after the wreck happened. An experienced car accident clinic can spot these types of hidden injuries that you might miss because of delayed symptoms.

Hidden Injuries After a Car Accident

Here are five examples of hidden injuries common with car accidents:

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is considered the most common car accident injury, and yet it can often go undiagnosed at first. When you are in a car accident and wearing your seat belt correctly, this safety measure helps prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle. However, the seat belt cannot protect your head and neck from getting jostled around due to the force of impact between the vehicles. Whiplash occurs most often in rear-end collisions where a vehicle hits yours from behind and causes your head and neck to snap forward and backward violently. This can cause the muscles in your neck to strain out of their normal range of motion and even lead to muscle tears.

2. Concussion

Headaches are a common response to a stressful or traumatic event even if you haven’t sustained more serious injuries. However, headaches combined with other symptoms could signal that you have a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury and can sometimes go unnoticed at first. Headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea are just a few symptoms of a concussion and a reason to see a doctor immediately. Brain injuries can be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously.

3. Spine Injuries

The force of impact can put a significant amount of pressure on your spinal cord, which can lead to misalignments, bruising, herniated discs, or fractured vertebrae. Spinal injuries can be hidden injuries with delayed symptoms because you might not recognize right away that your back pain is a sign of something more serious. In the minutes and hours after a car accident, pain and discomfort from a spinal injury may take time to settle in. A spinal injury can negatively impact proper functioning and even disrupt the nervous system.

4. Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue sprains and strains can occur with car accidents and may take a while for the symptoms to fully appear. Muscle sprains or tears can occur with whiplash or another injury where your muscles are forced out of their typical range of motion due to the wreck. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that provide support to your spine and other bones in the body can also be damaged. What at first seems like a bit of soreness can develop into something more serious if not addressed by a car accident doctor.

5. Internal Injuries

Unfortunately, it is possible to sustain internal injuries from a car accident and not realize it right away. The combination of stress, adrenaline, and shock can mask pain and other symptoms at first, which can keep you from fully recognizing the severity of your injuries. Internal injuries like damage to blood vessels or organs can occur in a car accident, especially due to blunt force trauma.

Treatment for Car Accident Injuries

Make your health your first priority and get checked out by an accident doctor after you have been in a car accident. Unlike going to a general physician, car accident doctors specialize in treating these types of complex injuries and have the knowledge and skills to identify hidden injuries with delayed symptoms. Visit an accident doctor at Fox Integrated Healthcare for a comprehensive approach to your treatment so you can get quality care and support for a full recovery.