No matter how big or how small a vehicle accident is, it is usually dangerous and leaves quite an impression on you. Different people handle the accident in different ways. Some go blank right after it and cannot remember what happened. Some get overworked and have a million different thoughts coming into their minds.
Even if we leave out emotional trauma and the psychological disorientation, there is still the physical trauma to take care of. But sometimes, it gets pushed to the back of your priorities amid the confusion. Sometimes your physical trauma can stay hidden for hours or even days and then come out to surprise you.
You need to be vigilant if you or anyone you know have been in an accident. Immediate treatment is good and you must rush to the hospital afterwards, but don’t relax after that. You might start noticing some things in a few days. If you want to get back to your life as quickly as you can, then you need to take care of the following things:
Headaches and Dizziness
One of the most common results of a car accident is whiplash. It is when your head moves forward and backward in a quick motion and causes your muscles and tendons to exert more force and eventually rupture. Apart from whiplash, there’s also concussion, blood clot, or a neck injury. All of these might cause dizziness or headaches. These symptoms might be delayed. So if you start getting headaches or feel dizzy, you need to get medical attention immediately, even if you think that the headaches are not that serious.
If you have suffered a car accident, you need to know that there is also a great risk of brain injury. If you were thrown around in the car or if you hit your head hard, there are chances that the tissues of your brain might have hit the insides of your skull. This hit might have caused damage to the brain tissue, bleeding, bruising, or swelling. You might have one or more of these things. Brain injuries can be life-altering and you need to seek medical attention even if you display symptoms a couple of days after the accident. A headache or dizziness might be the first signs of brain injury.
Unfortunately, most people take headaches and dizziness very lightly. They chalk it up to after effects of the accident and blame it on the drugs or the stress. This kind of behavior could be dangerous to the person and might be fatal in the long run. The best thing to do is to have yourself checked by a doctor. Even if a doctor has checked you right after the accident, you need to go back and get yourself checked again.
The accident might have caused damage to your muscles, nerves or even your ligaments that are in your back. Another risk is the damage to your vertebrae. Back pain, especially in the lower back, is common in accidents that involve rear collisions.
Pain in the Abdomen
If you are feeling pain in your abdomen, one reason might be internal bleeding that might have gone unnoticed the first time you went to the doctor. Other symptoms that you might see in your abdomen are large areas of a deep purple color. There could also be bruising around your abdomen. These things might not be found for days. If there is such a thing then it needs to be diagnosed and treated on an urgent basis.
Numbness in Your Body and Tingling
If you feel numbness in any part of your body or if there is a tingling sensation, it could be the result of a pinched nerve or it might be because of a herniated disc. Both of these conditions can cause extreme pain and there are further complications involved. So even if you feel a little bit of tingling, going to the doctor should be the first thing on your mind.
Behavioral Changes or Restriction in Movement
If you feel any change in your normal behavior, or if your family, friends, or colleagues report such a thing, it might be because of brain injury. These may include loss of memory or problem in your thinking process. It could be that you can’t move as you used to or you are having problems with your vision or your hearing. Another behavioral change is depression. Look out for these signs of depression with a sharp eye. Ask your family and friends to look for these signs in you. This is one of the reasons why doctors ask the accident victim to surround themselves with friends and family for a few days so these symptoms can be reported and treated.
Pain or Stiffness in the Neck or Shoulders
If you feel shoulder pain after car accident or stiffness in the neck or shoulders, it could be a classic sign of whiplash. Whiplash can be caused by the smallest of accidents. If you feel these symptoms you might need to get x-rays, CT scans or even MRI for a proper diagnosis.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common but least discussed result of a car accident. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, reliving the accident again and again or having flashbacks. It could also cause you to have nightmares or disturbing images that have high clarity. It happens mostly with children.
If you or any of your relatives or colleagues are showing these symptoms they need to be check out immediately. It is not necessary for these symptoms to show immediately. It could take days for them to materialize. Car accidents have been known to be the common cause of PTSD.
PTSD in a victim might be more pronounced if they have been through a previous trauma or if they had any previous psychological problems. The risk of PTSD could also be more pronounced if the patient has a family history of psychological problems. Other things that can increase the effects of PTSD are lacking in social support after the trauma, or if the patient took the accident as a life or death situation, or if they developed extreme fear or helplessness, horror, or guilt right after the trauma.
All of these are symptoms that might not be immediately apparent right after the accident. They might take days to develop. So keep a sharp eye out and if you feel any of the symptoms, report to your doctor immediately.