You were just in a car accident after dropping your child off at soccer practice. Your vehicle has some damage, but you feel fine, so you do not visit a health care practitioner.
However, some injury symptoms take a few days to fully show up, and getting treatment is important so they do not become more serious. Knowing what some common injuries are may help identify your own symptoms.
Whiplash is an injury often experienced after a rear-end collision, as this type of accident causes the neck and head to move back and forth rapidly. A whiplash injury involves a neck sprain that includes damage to the muscles, nerves and ligaments. Some typical symptoms include:
- Neck stiffness
- Neck pain with movement
- Numbness and tingling in arms and fingers
- Difficulty moving head
If you have whiplash symptoms and do not seek treatment, there is a possibility it can lead to long-term neck pain and chronic headaches.
Both upper and lower back pain are common after a crash. Pain in the lower back is especially common in side-impact collisions. Along with pain, there may be muscle stiffness and tenderness.
Some headaches come on right after an accident occurs, while others may take a couple days to appear. Sometimes they are due to increased muscle tension or nerve pressure, but they can also be a sign of something more serious. You should seek medical care to rule out a concussion or blood clot.
Not all injuries are physical, and a concussion from a car accident can interfere with the function of the brain. Some typical symptoms include memory loss, depression, anxiety, irritability and impaired thinking.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is also common after an accident. You may have nightmares or upsetting memories of the crash, or you may feel jumpy whenever you are driving. For some accident victims, these symptoms eventually go away, but for others they can last awhile and interfere with daily life.
Do not ignore symptoms that appear after a car accident, even if they seem insignificant. Doing so can lead to chronic injuries.