5 Hidden Injuries to Watch Out for After an Auto Accident

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5 Hidden Injuries to Watch Out for After an Auto Accident

The type and severity of injuries suffered in a car accident can depend on factors such as the speed of the collision, the direction of impact, and whether safety measures like seat belts were used.

However, even a seemingly mild collision can result in a hidden injury and symptoms that may not appear for hours, days, or weeks after the accident.

Our team at Advanced Pain Management in Castro Valley, California, led by Ravi Panjabi, MD, specializes in diagnosing and developing personalized treatment strategies for chronic pain.

We’re happy to provide information about five hidden injuries that can occur during an auto accident and the symptoms they can cause.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury resulting from sudden acceleration and deceleration forces in a car accident, especially rear-end collisions.

Whiplash symptoms may not be immediately apparent, but neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and even cognitive issues such as memory impairment can develop over time. Prompt medical attention is crucial, as untreated whiplash can lead to chronic pain and reduced quality of life.

2. Concussion

The impact of a car accident can jolt the brain within the skull, resulting in a concussion. Symptoms may range from mild to severe, including headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

Due to the delayed onset of symptoms, individuals might not link these issues to the accident. Timely diagnosis and appropriate medical care are essential for managing and preventing long-term complications.

3. Internal injuries

Not all injuries are visible on the surface. Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, can occur even in seemingly minor accidents.

Abdominal pain, swelling, or bruising may indicate such injuries. Internal injuries demand immediate medical attention to prevent complications, making it imperative you remain vigilant about any unusual symptoms emerging post-accident.

4. Back and neck injuries

The spine is vulnerable to injury in a car accident, many of which can take time to manifest, including:

Herniated discs

The force of a car accident can cause spinal discs (cushion-like structures between vertebrae) to rupture or bulge, putting pressure on nearby nerves.

Depending on the disc’s location, symptoms may include back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs or arms.

Compression fractures

Compression fractures involve cracking or collapse of vertebrae, often caused by a forceful impact in a car accident.

Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, symptoms such as back pain, limited spinal mobility, and potential nerve-related symptoms may not occur immediately.

Facet joint injuries

Facet joints connect vertebrae in the spine and can be injured in a car accident, sometimes causing immediate pain and reduced mobility. These injuries also increase your risk or may speed up the process of degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis.

5. Sprains and strains

Soft tissue injuries such as sprains (ligament damage) and strains (muscle or tendon damage) can occur due to the sudden jolt or impact common with an auto accident. Some muscle soreness or achiness is expected after an accident.

However, severe or persistent pain, swelling, or reduced range of motion in the affected joints or muscles require medical attention.

Schedule an evaluation at Advanced Pain Management today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.