A car accident can be a very scary experience and it can take a while to feel like you are back to normal. If you get an injury like whiplash from the accident then you may also experience a lot of pain and discomfort afterward. Whiplash is actually the most common car accident injury, but it can have a lot of different symptoms depending on your situation. If you have any of the following common symptoms, then schedule an appointment with a car accident doctor as soon as possible.
The most obvious symptom that something isn’t right after a car accident might be a headache. But headaches are a sign and symptom of whiplash specifically because of how the accident affects your head and neck. Even if you were going at a relatively low speed and got into a fender-bender, the force of the accident can cause your head to snap forward and backward, leading to whiplash. When your head is jostled unexpectedly, it can lead to headache pain. Headaches don’t always appear right after a car accident so take note if you start to notice one in the hours or even days after the accident, especially if they are persistent or seem to get worse.
Pain and Tenderness
While your seatbelt is there to hold your body in place from shoulder to hip, there is no safety feature that can keep your head and neck from getting shaken up in an accident. You might get some scrapes or bruises from the accident itself, but it is important to also pay attention to any pain and tenderness going on inside your body. Neck pain is very common with whiplash. When your neck muscles strain out of their normal range of motion they can become stressed, injured, and even torn. This can also happen with your shoulders and back muscles. In the hours after the accident, you might notice your neck is tender to the touch or hurts when you turn it one way or another. These are signs of injury that should be looked at by a car accident injury chiropractor.
After your neck muscles are stretched outside their normal limits, you might notice swelling and inflammation in the area. When your neck is tender and painful, you might try not to move it as much as possible. But actually, injury to your muscles and then resting them too much can lead to more painful, stiff muscles. Stiff muscles can be very uncomfortable and also affect how you go about your daily life. When your neck is stiff, it can make it difficult to turn your head to talk to someone or to watch where you are going without tripping or falling.
Numbness and Tingling
Feeling a tingling sensation or numbness are signs that your nerves may have been impacted by the accident or injury. When whiplash occurs, the vertebrae in your neck might get hurt or even slip out of place. The spongy discs that separate your vertebrae can also get forced out of place and may even put pressure on a nearby nerve. Swollen muscles and tendons may also put pressure on nerves in your neck, back, and shoulders. Some people say tingling feels like “pins and needles” and might lose a bit of sensation in an area. Numbness in your fingers can also happen if a nerve that communicates from your spine to your arm is pressured or damaged.
If you feel dizzy after an accident involving your head or spine then you want to visit a car accident doctor right away. Your doctor will want to rule out a concussion, which can be very serious and lead to swelling around your brain. More commonly, dizziness is a sign of a whiplash injury because of the pain and stress of the car accident. When your head is shaken up, especially when you aren’t prepared for it, you can get dizzy. You might feel like you are on a boat when you are really sitting down in your own home, or you might notice it more when you go from standing to sitting. Dizziness, especially if it continues for hours, can be a sign of something serious.
Other symptoms of whiplash can include fatigue, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Talk to your car accident doctor as soon as you can if you experience any of these symptoms. The team of car accident doctors at ProCare is here to help from diagnosis to treatment and all the way through your recovery. Contact us today.