Car Accident Pain: 6 Delayed-Onset Injuries to Watch For After a Car Accident

Car Accident Pain

After a car accident you may feel fine and injury free. But delayed-onset injuries are common resulting in long-term car accident pain. Here’s what to look for.

Every year, between 20 and 50 million people suffer from non-fatal injuries as a result of a car accident. Those injuries can even develop into disabilities if you don’t seek immediate care. In time, your injuries could impact your entire quality of life.

Unfortunately, the adrenaline rush you experience after a crash can mask the pain. You might not realize subtle car accident pain is indicating a major injury, either. 

By learning about some of the common, delayed-onset injuries that result from a car accident, you can take note before the pain gets worse.

Then, you can visit a medical professional to get the help you need before that injury becomes a disability. 

Not sure what to look for? Keep reading to discover the six common delayed-onset injuries that result from a car crash. 

  1. Headaches

There are a number of reasons you might experience a headache, including:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration

Many people don’t realize that the cause of their headache is related to car accident pain. A spinal misalignment could cause your body to act out by causing a headache.

Don’t try to realign your spine alone. That could have dangerous consequences and even lead to disability. Instead, consider visiting a chiropractor for a back and neck realignment. 

Realigning your spine can improve blood flow throughout your body. This will increase the oxygen supply to your brain. Improving your blood flow will ensure your body receives the nutrients it needs to heal properly, too.

You can find out more about auto accident chiropractors before your next appointment. 

A headache might also indicate a concussion or traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents are a leading cause of these injuries, which can result in:

  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Issues with balance, hearing, or vision
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping less or more)
  • Mood swings (sadness, depression, irritability)
  • Fatigue

Even if the crash seemed minor, a brain injury is no small issue. Make sure to check in with a doctor if you experience a brain injury after a car accident. They can determine the severity of the issue and complete an MRI to determine your specific injury.

  1. Neck and Shoulder Pain

Car accidents involve a lot of immediate force. This can cause your neck and shoulder to suffer internal damage, even if you don’t sustain external injuries. 

Possible signs of a neck or shoulder injury include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Emotional symptoms (depression or anxiety)
  • Tingling, numbness, or paralysis
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Increased muscle stiffness

You may have sustained an injury to soft tissue, such as a ligament, muscle, or tendon injury. These injuries share many of the symptoms listed above. A medical professional will need to complete an X-ray to determine your injury. 

Don’t forget, a minor injury can lead to chronic pain. In order to avoid future problems, have a doctor assess your car accident pain as soon as possible. 

  1. Back Pain

Nearly 65 million Americans report recent cases of back pain. 16 million experience chronic back pain, which can limit their daily activities. In fact, back pain is the sixth most costly condition in the country. 

If you experience low back pain after a car accident, make sure to visit a doctor or chiropractor.

Many patients visit a chiropractor due to chronic back pain. Lifestyle choices, including your job and posture, can contribute to your pain, too. Over time, this pain can slow you down and impact your work or home life. 

A chiropractic alignment can help you avoid using painkillers or undergoing invasive surgery. Regular alignments can ease your back pain, which can improve your overall quality of life. 

  1. Numbness and Tingling

Are you noticing any numbness or tingling in your arms or hands? These symptoms could indicate damage to the neck or spinal column. This car accident pain likely won’t present itself until hours after the crash.

People with a herniated disk can also experience these symptoms before back pain sets in.

A herniated disk will press against your spinal nerves. This can cause numbness and tingling in your arms and hands. 

Your doctor or chiropractor might suggest an X-ray following your accident to identify the main source of your injury.

  1. Abdominal Pain

You might not notice you’re experiencing abdominal pain until several days after the accident. In some cases, this pain can become life-threatening if left untreated for too long. Abdominal pain can indicate internal bleeding, which will need diagnosis and treatment right away.

Internal bleeding can cause you to experience:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bruising and purple-colored skin
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness

You can’t see and detect internal bleeding yourself. With that in mind, it’s important to have a medical professional assess your injuries following the accident. Their immediate assessment can ensure you get the treatment you need before it becomes a fatal issue. 

  1. Whiplash

Whiplash occurs after a sudden, sharp whipping motion of your neck and head. If you’re in an auto accident that involves another car rear-ending yours, your head might snap forward and backward quickly.

This can cause you to experience:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Arm pain and weakness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Jaw pain 
  • Back pain
  • A ringing sound in your ears

A chronic case of whiplash associated disorder can cause additional symptoms, including:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Drug dependency
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome
  • Frustration

Patients who experience these symptoms sometimes self-isolate to cope with their injuries. Instead, it’s important to visit a medical professional for a full assessment. 

Your doctor might suggest range of motion exercises to improve blood flow to the injured tissue. 

Car Accident Pain: 6 Injuries You Might Not Notice Until Long After

Experiencing lingering car accident pain? Don’t wait until you notice your injuries. Instead, consider visiting a medical professional as soon as possible to determine the course of treatment that’s right for you. 

Explore the Lifestyle section of the blog today for more helpful guides.


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