You should never put off getting medical attention after any accident, even if you don’t feel like you’re injured at the time. Many car accident injuries don’t feel painful right away, but you should still see a car accident chiropractor as soon as possible after an accident. Seeing a professional is the best way to assess your risk for experiencing delayed shock symptoms after a car accident and to get treatment for any delayed car accident symptoms you may develop. However, learning to recognize delayed car accident symptoms in yourself can also help you be aware of concerns in the days following an accident.
What Are Delayed Car Accident Symptoms?
Delayed car accident symptoms are injuries that you may not immediately notice after a car accident. While surface-level lacerations are an obvious external sign of injury, many people don’t experience the pain and discomfort of internal injuries until a day or longer after the accident. In fact, most symptoms of car accident injuries don’t appear until 24 hours or longer after the collision.
For example, a concussion or traumatic brain injury isn’t always recognizable from the outside, and the initial shock of the accident may prevent you from fully realizing the effects of the injury. Only in the days following the accident might you notice the symptoms of something being wrong.
Therefore, your first stop after a car accident should always be a doctor’s office. It’s best to visit a doctor who is familiar with car accident injuries and knows what to look for. Some put off seeing the doctor because they “feel fine,” but that’s an extremely dangerous choice to make. Many injuries can have long-lasting consequences for your health, and some may even be deadly if left untreated. Some common injuries people experience after a car accident include:
- Concussions and brain injuries.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Muscle sprains, strains, and contusions.
- Spinal injuries like herniated discs.
- Mental health symptoms like anxiety and mood swings.
How Can I Recognize Delayed Car Accident Symptoms?
While it’s best to see a doctor immediately following an accident, you can also learn to recognize delayed car accident symptoms in yourself. Be aware of these signs and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms.
Back pain is very common after a car accident, and it can signal several different concerns. These include bruises and pulled muscles, or more serious injuries of the spinal cord, that could lead to permanent disability. Misaligned vertebrae in your spine can lead to nerve compression that causes pain, numbness, and a tingling sensation. Not only can pain from a back injury make it hard to move and function throughout the day, but it can also have permanent consequences, like nerve damage and paralysis.
After your collision, your car accident chiropractor will ask you how the pain feels. If your back pain is severe, this is a red flag and may be a symptom of a spinal cord injury.
Note that your back pain may be low at first because of shock after the car accident and may increase as time goes on. Thus, it’s important to see your doctor soon after the accident.
One of our car accident chiropractors can help ease your back pain and lower the chances of any long-term spinal cord injury.
Changes in Mood, Communication Skills, or Vision
A car accident is a traumatic event, and it’s natural to feel emotional shock after the accident. You may have physical symptoms of shock like rapid breathing, a fast pulse, clammy skin, and shaking limbs, along with emotional symptoms like fear and heightened alertness. However, if you start exhibiting abrupt mood swings or feel a general change in your usual mood after the shock wears off, these may be signs of an underlying health concern.
Changes in your cognitive abilities can be a symptom of a brain injury. When you experience cognitive difficulties, you may notice symptoms like irritability, brain fog, trouble communicating, impulsiveness, fatigue, and difficulty with focus and problem-solving. Blurry vision and slurred speech can also indicate a brain injury, so it’s important to get assessed for a concussion or traumatic brain injury right away if you have any of these symptoms.
In other cases, changes in mood can indicate a mental health concern, which should be taken just as seriously as a physical injury. If you experience anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, irritability, intrusive thoughts, and negative mood changes like feelings of guilt and shame that interfere with your daily life, talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a mental health specialist.
Numbness and Tingling
Ever had your foot “fall asleep”? It’s a common phenomenon. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not caused by blood flow issues, but temporary nerve compression. Your nerves communicate with your brain and spine, and when they’re pinched, they can’t communicate correctly.
Much like a hose stops spraying water when twisted, nerves can’t send signals to your brain if something is twisted or compressed. That tingling feeling you get is a result of the nerves regaining function in your body. The medical community refers to this phenomenon as paresthesia.
After a collision, numbness or tingling in your extremities — even a few days afterward — may signal a spinal cord injury. You should take any loss of sensation seriously.
Note that numbness can grow over time, as swelling increases, so see a car accident chiropractor in Houston as soon as possible for proper treatment.
Feeling sick to your stomach? Vertigo, nausea, and vomiting are all common symptoms, even after small collisions. Shock and anxiety can contribute to nausea and vomiting, but don’t assume your nausea will pass. In some cases, these symptoms can signify serious injuries, such as:
- Internal bleeding.
- Broken bones.
- Organ damage.
- Traumatic brain injury.
If you’re feeling nausea along with numbness, tingling, confusion, dizziness, peeing blood, or other symptoms, make an appointment with a car accident doctor immediately.
If your head hurts after a collision, it’s a sign you need to see a car accident doctor immediately. A post-accident headache could mean you have a concussion, or even worse, a traumatic brain injury
If you’re experiencing any of the following, make an appointment with a qualified car accident chiropractor in Houston right away:
- Headache that gets worse over time.
- Headache with blurred vision.
- Headache that won’t go away.
Schedule an Appointment With a Car Accident Chiropractor in Houston today!
If you’ve been in an accident, there’s no time to lose. Make an appointment with a qualified car accident doctor immediately for treatment. City Wide Injury has many locations to choose from, so make an appointment with us today or contact us at 713-782-0082 for more information.
How to Recognize Delayed Car Accident Symptoms | City Wide Injury & Accident
Joe Danna is a Chiropractor specialist practicing in Houston, TX. Where he has lived his whole life.