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What to Expect (Physically) After a Car Accident
Jul 10, 2020

What to Expect (Physically) After a Car AccidentWhile there are about 7,500 people injured each day in a car accident, the severity of injuries can vary widely. Many will sustain minor injuries that aren’t felt for hours or days later, yet others will have severe injuries that often require immediate attention, and in some cases, a crash can be fatal. When injuries fall into the first category, it can be hard to assess immediately without the assistance of a car accident chiropractor. By visiting an Atlanta area expert, you can identify any issues immediately and begin healing.

Why May Symptoms Be Delayed?

Immediately following an accident, your mind is likely rushing with worry and shock. As you deal with assessing your car’s damage, speaking to other parties or the police, and worrying about insurance claims, you may not immediately have the bandwidth to notice injuries.

Additionally, our bodies are designed to protect us, with adrenaline being pumped out quickly in the midst of an emergency. These “fight or flight” hormones give you the strength to stay alert and address any pressing issues, while suppressing pain in the moment. It may not be until these hormones wear off that pain can begin to appear, and it may slowly worsen as your hormones balance out.

What Symptoms Can I Expect?

Injuries in a car accident can vary based on the severity of the crash, where you were in the car, if you were wearing a seatbelt, and a number of other factors. Below are some of the most common symptoms you may experience after an accident, but even if you do not encounter any of these, it is important to visit a car accident chiropractor who can check for more rare conditions.

Headaches: This is one of the most common complaints after an auto accident, either right away or in the days to follow. Headaches can be caused by a number of injuries, like whiplash, concussions, or shoulder tension. Even if your headache is mild, it could also indicate traumatic brain injuries and should always be evaluated.

Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: Whether you’ve suffered whiplash or not, pain in these areas is common and likely to reveal itself over time. The pain may be localized or shoot through different areas of the body. It can be hard to tell on your own if the pain is coming from muscles, tendons, joints, or nerve damage, but all can be treated individually.

Numbness or Tingling: If your nerves have been damaged, this often causes numbness or tingling, particularly in the extremities like hands and feet. This may be associated with pain or can be a symptom on its own. Nerve damage can spread if not treated properly, so don’t ignore the feeling of limbs “falling asleep” after an accident.

Abdominal Pain: Wearing a seatbelt is undoubtedly important and lifesaving in many crashes, but they do still affect your body. If your seatbelt pulled tight on your stomach during impact, it may cause bruising or other trauma. In severe cases, it can cause internal bleeding that becomes dangerous. Even an upset stomach is important to have checked out to prevent this from happening.

Swelling: Swelling is a very common response to any sort of trauma your body has undergone, like that of a car crash. It usually begins slowly and reaches full effect after a period of time, but the swelling can cause a lot of pain and stiffness. Most swelling can be treated with ice and rest, but persistent swelling could indicate other issues.

Trouble with Focus and Memory: Any injuries to your head can lead to a feeling of fogginess or difficulty remembering things. While these can be emotional responses to the stress of an accident, they are also indicators of a concussion or serious brain injury and should be evaluated as soon as they become apparent.

How Long Is Recovery?

The length of recovery will vary greatly based on your symptoms and the severity of any injuries. It can take days to weeks to years to fully recover from car accident injuries. To ensure a full and speedy recovery, see a car accident chiropractor immediately following an accident to address any issues and create a treatment plan than can begin right away.

At AICA Atlanta, our team is focused on helping those who have been in car accidents assess their health and treat any injuries swiftly. By using a multidisciplinary focus that includes chiropractic care, physical therapy, pain management, neurology, and orthopedic care, AICA is able to create a personalized treatment plan for everyone.

Reach out to AICA Atlanta today to schedule an evaluation and begin working towards better health.

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