Car Accident

Car Accidents—How to Recognize an Injury and How to Respond

Car accidents are traumatic, not only emotionally and financially, but physically as well. Sometimes physical trauma can take a backseat, so to speak, as a result of putting too much focus on the emotional and financial. While most are in a rush to get their car fixed and back to a normal day to day routine, it is highly recommended to see a chiropractor before too long after accident occurred.

It is possible for there to be hidden symptoms that, on the surface, are as minor as a sore neck but are in fact masking a severe spinal injury. A car accident is a sizable occurrence and the aftereffects that come after such events have the potential to be substantial.

As reported by the Mayo Clinic, car crashes are one of the biggest reasons for spinal injury and are accountable for over forty percent of annual spine related injuries. Sometimes car accidents and their subsequent injuries are unavoidable, that is why knowing what to look for in a serious spinal injury can be crucial in the days following the incident so that treatment can be administered as early as possible.

Is it possible to identify and differentiate a severe injury from simple muscle pain and discomfort? It’s more than likely that any sustained injury will go unrecognized for its severity until properly examined and identified by a medical professional, but there are some symptoms that can be indicators of a need for further medical attention.

Whiplash

  • Common injury sustained during rear-end collisions
  • Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours of the accident occurring
  • Symptoms include: pain and/or stiffness of the neck, headaches centered at the base of the skull, dizziness, blurred vision, and fatigue
  • Some less common symptoms include: difficulty concentrating, memory problems, ringing of the ears, insomnia, and irritability

Spinal Fractures

  • Common injury sustained during rear-end collisions
  • If this injury is suspected, it is treated on scene before symptoms can be evaluated
  • Symptoms include: moderate to severe back pain that worsens with movement, tingling, numbness, weakness, and in some cases, incontinence

Spondylolisthesis

  • Result of a vertebra shifting out of place after a bone fracture
  • Symptoms range from none at all to numbness, pain, weakness in the buttock or leg, difficulty walking, and in extreme cases, incontinence
  • Some people do not experience symptoms until years later, which is why it is important to schedule a check up with a licensed chiropractor after any car accident

Disc Herniation

  • Occurs when soft tissue is pushed through a small crack in the exterior of the disc, resulting in nerve irritation
  • Symptoms range from none at all to arm or leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness around the injury

Scheduling an appointment to be evaluated by a licensed chiropractor is as crucial as repairing a car after a car accident. Spine injuries can be very easy to overlook or be wrongfully attributed to other lesser ailments unless they are identified properly by a medical professional.