A car accident happens without a moment’s notice, and coming out of an accident unscathed is extremely lucky. If you were involved in an accident but feel fine immediately afterwards, you might think nothing of a minor fender bender. Even if you were only involved in a minor collision, there’s still a chance you suffered injury. If you start experiencing things like random pain and aches, there may be an underlying issue. Here are five delayed symptoms to watch out for after an auto accident.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
One delayed symptom that almost always makes an appearance after an accident is pain in the neck and shoulders. Having sudden pain in these areas is a very common sign that you could have whiplash. Whiplash is a type of neck injury that’s commonly associated with car accidents. It occurs when a person’s neck is jerked forward with tremendous force. If you don’t seek out treatment, whiplash can be extremely serious
Another common symptom people experience after an accident are headaches. Compared to neck and shoulder pain, headaches can take a little while to show up. As a result, it’s easy to associate it with something other than the accident that occurred a few days ago. Some headaches may resolve with medication. However, other headaches may be a sign of a more serious issue. If you have any chronic headaches, see you should consult your doctor immediately. If headaches aren’t accompanied by nausea, vomiting or blurred vision, head to the nearest hospital.
Pain in the Abdominal Area
Similar to headaches, pain in the abdomen can take a few days to appear. If you experience abdominal pain, there’s a chance you may be suffering from internal bleeding. People may also experience side effects such as fainting spells, feeling dizzy, having purple-colored skin, and feeling lightheaded. Any abdominal symptoms that seem out of the ordinary demand immediate medical attention.
Back pain can present in a variety of ways. Some people experience minor muscle strain while others develop herniated discs. Having pain in your back may be a sign of underlying issues with your vertebrae or muscles. In rare cases, victims of a car accident may suffer from sciatica. Sciatica is a medical condition that causes severe pain that spreads throughout their lower body from the back. If diagnosed with sciatica, you may need to attend auto accident injury rehab for treatment.
Finally, numbness is a red-flag symptom that needs immediate evaluation. If you develop numbness, you could have cervical disk herniations or spinal cord impingement. Unlike the previous symptoms, numbness can make itself known in a matter of hours after the initial injury. Numbness may also be a sign of neurological damage or brain injury, so regardless of the severity, contact your doctor immediately or go to the ER.
Regardless of how minor the accident is, always get checked out afterwards. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to injuries sustained in a car accident.