Your body’s fight or flight response starts to engage about the time your airbag deflates after a car accident. As you perform a self-check to determine that you’re not injured, you may even have a passing thought that you feel OK, all things considered. As you get on with the tasks required after a collision, you may not give your physical condition any more thought.
However, even a minor accident transfers significant forces through your body. You likely have injuries that your body is hiding from you and for which you don’t feel pain for hours, days, or even weeks. These hidden injuries can be substantial and long-lasting if left untreated.
Tulsa Accident Care Center specializes in treating exactly these types of injuries. Dr. Robert Mitchell and his team know what to look for and how to interpret your symptoms to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Even if you feel fine, an exam within days of your collision could reveal any of these five most common hidden injuries that happen during automobile accidents.
1. Neck injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries during car accidents. The whipping action that occurs between your head and neck often causes a range of soft tissue damage that’s not immediately painful.
Without prompt treatment, however, you may experience the effects of neck injury for weeks, months, or longer. Whiplash can be a complex injury that’s not the same for every patient. You might need medical treatment, physical therapy, and pain management to recover.
2. Brain injuries
The forces behind whiplash are also severe enough to cause a concussion, a traumatic brain injury that’s typically caused by a blow to the head or by internal damage caused by the same motion that causes whiplash. Symptoms of a concussion include:
- Inability to remember the accident
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
You can have a concussion without losing consciousness, and symptoms can be delayed and unrecognizable immediately after your accident.
3. Back injuries
Injuries to your spine sometimes aren’t apparent right away. It’s always safe to assume you have a potential spinal cord injury, so visit Tulsa Accident Care Center to confirm or rule it out.
Swelling and bleeding that occurs in or around your spinal cord can cause numbness or paralysis that affects you gradually. Less serious, but still of concern, is slowly developing back pain stemming from strained muscles. Untreated, these could develop into long-term back problems.
4. Soft tissue injuries
Just as soft tissue damage factors into whiplash and back injuries, your feet, ankles, and knees could be injured in a car accident. Shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries are also common. Like other collision injuries, these may not hurt right away.
With this delayed response, you might not even associate pain from these locations with your accident at first.
5. Internal damage
Internal bleeding may not be immediately obvious, but it’s an injury that could be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms may not be obvious to you until you’re already in serious condition.
Contemporary safety systems in cars are designed to safeguard you in a collision, and your body’s systems get you through the crisis. Neither, though, can protect you from the hidden injuries of an auto accident.
Contact Tulsa Accident Care Center after you’ve been involved in any type of vehicle collision. You can book an appointment by calling the office at 918-888-8080 or using our online form. It’s a matter of remaining safe rather than becoming sorry.