According to the US Department of Transportation, there are well over six million car accidents in the country annually. A tragically high number of these accidents result in driver or passenger deaths, but an even higher number results in injuries.
These injuries are detrimental enough on their own. But perhaps more dangerous is the fact that many of these injuries aren’t always obvious immediately following the accident. This can lead to them going untreated and causing greater problems down the road. Knowing the symptoms to look for after a car accident can help victims get the treatment they need.
Headaches are typically minor issues, the results of anything from the common cold to caffeine withdrawal. Because of this, crash victims may not see them as signs of more significant issues. However, a headache after a car accident may point to a more serious injury, such as:
- Brain injury
- Neck or spinal misalignment
Even if the headache doesn’t set in until a few days after an accident, seeking medical attention right away is essential. This is especially true if dizziness or confusion accompanies it.
Back and Neck Pain
Some of the more common symptoms people experience after car accidents are related to the back and neck. This is because the impact of a car striking your vehicle typically causes the body to lurch forward, throwing the spine out of alignment or causing whiplash.
Leaving back pain untreated can lead to unnecessary health risks, so you should not ignore it. A physician may be able to suggest pain remedies such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) treatments, chiropractic adjustments, or physical therapy.
A traumatic situation such as a car accident doesn’t only affect the body. Many survivors find their emotions in disarray following car accidents, their minds swinging between anxiety, depression, guilt, shock, and anger. Insomnia often worsens this situation.
Mood swings are often results of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and they should be treated with as much care as a physical injury. A counselor can help PTSD patients work through their emotions and toward a better mental state.
A concussion can also be the trigger behind unexpected mood swings following a car accident. As you strive to explore your emotions, monitoring any links between your physical and emotional symptoms is also essential.