Being involved in a car accident is always scary, especially if you suffer an injury. The trauma and shock to the system can be profound, but all too often, people try to “shake off” the injury, only to suffer negative consequences later.
Many injury symptoms don’t appear until much later and can get worse with delay. That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor after an accident, no matter how minor it seems. A trained pain physician can diagnose issues before they become more serious, helping your recovery.
Here are some symptoms of four common auto accident injuries that should not be ignored:
Pain, weakness or numbness in your limbs
You’ve probably heard of a slipped or herniated disc; our back has rubbery cushions or “discs” which exist between the bones that make up our spine. These discs can slip or rupture during a car crash, causing the soft center to push through, irritating surrounding nerves, and causing tingling, pain, and weakness in your arms or legs.
Often the pain is severe, but sometimes you won’t even know you’ve suffered a herniated disc without a doctor’s diagnosis. Your pain physician can examine the region after an accident or get x-rays to look for any damage.
You might feel a shooting pain in your limbs or have difficulty holding items, or there might be a more intense pain when you cough, sneeze or move in a certain way. Regardless, get checked out if you have any arm, leg or back pain after a crash, or even if you don’t feel any symptoms but experienced a jarring jolt.
Whiplash and neck pain
In a car accident, your head can suddenly thrust forward or back as the vehicle makes an impact or gets hit from behind. This sudden force can injure your discs, nerves, and muscles, especially in the neck region, causing pain in the neck and back or traveling down your arms.
Whiplash is a common auto injury, and you may not feel the symptoms instantly. Your doctor can suggest treatments to prevent or relieve any pain from whiplash.
Head Injuries in Auto Accidents
Head injuries and concussions can be among the most serious injuries in car wrecks, yet many of the symptoms may not appear right away. The crash can cause your head to bang against something inside or outside the vehicle, resulting in a brain injury.
If your head gets hit in an accident, see a doctor immediately, even if it doesn’t feel that bad right away. Head injuries can cause confusion, headaches, dizziness, vision problems, and a host of other serious symptoms. A pain management physician can diagnose the severity and plan a course of care, and at our practice at Tri County Pain Management Centers, we have a neurologist on staff to enhance our care of head-related injury.
Back and leg pain
Our bodies can feel somewhat normal after an accident if our injuries were not life-threatening. But the aches and pains can be masked by the trauma and sense of shock. After a crash, be aware of increased pain in your back and legs, as the force of a wreck can cause tears, sprains, and strains. As with the other conditions above, these symptoms may not appear for days and could impact your ability to stand, walk, sleep or work.
The bottom line:
If you’re in a car accident, no matter how serious, get examined by a pain physician who specializes in injuries. You may want to brush off the crash and “get on with your life”, but getting a post-accident exam may help you prevent more serious problems later and prevent a lifetime of pain. At Tri County Pain Management, our physicians specialize in treating injuries from car accidents, workplace accidents, and other personal injuries, focusing on bringing pain relief to our patients.
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