6 Ways a Car Wreck Can Impact Your Body
Due to the adrenaline released after an accident, many people don’t notice signs of a problem right away. Instead, they experience delayed pain. This can make it harder to pinpoint a direct cause, but if you’ve been in an accident, it’s more than likely the reason behind your discomfort. Soft tissue injuries, brain injuries, and mental health issues may not become apparent until several hours or even days after your accident. This is why it’s so important to undergo a medical evaluation, even if it’s a minor crash.
Soft tissue injuries are fairly common in both mild and severe car accidents. These injuries affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body, most commonly in the case of whiplash of the neck. Whiplash doesn’t always require serious medical intervention and symptoms are easily treatable at home, but you should still see a doctor to confirm the type and degree of damage. Some common symptoms of whiplash include ringing in the ears, sleep disturbances, an inability to turn your head, pain, numbness, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Back injuries are a serious side effect of car accidents, as they can drastically impact your overall quality of life. The type of back injury you experience depends on the localization of damage, but the most common ones incurred from a car accident include spinal cord injuries, thoracic spine injuries, lumbar spine injuries, and herniated discs.
Spinal cord injuries occur when the spine itself is damaged. Most spinal cord injuries lead to either partial or total paralysis, which cannot be reversed. Thoracic spinal cord injuries are also very serious and can result in paraplegia, or a loss of motor control and sensation in the trunk and legs. Lumbar spine injuries can cause long-term pain in the lower back, limited mobility, and reduced daily functioning. Herniated discs occur when cartilage between spinal vertebrae is displaced. This puts pressure on the nerve and can lead to sharp pain or numbness. Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the length of the spine. If you think you have a back injury, try to remain still as moving could create further problems or lead to paralysis. Instead, call for help and try to stay calm.
Every one of the bones in your body is susceptible to damage under the right force. Depending on the extent of the collision and how it occurred, different bones may be broken. For example, in a head-on collision you may experience a broken collar bone or broken ribs; in a t-bone collision, you may experience broken bones along the side of your body that was impacted. Broken bones are often associated with high levels of pain and easily noticeable after an accident.
Depending on the severity of the accident, car wrecks can lead to traumatic brain injury. This is one of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents, but they can vary based on the type of accident and location of collision. Oftentimes, skin and bone remain intact, and individuals suffer from concussions. While they can range from mild to severe, concussions are characterized by headaches, confusion, drowsiness, mood swings, nausea, blurred vision, slurred speech, and loss of consciousness. Concussions should be treated by a medical professional to avoid long-term damage or complications.
6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
While many people focus on the physical effects of a car wreck on your body, there are plenty of ways that accidents can alter your mental health as well. Most commonly, individuals involved in serious car crashes develop a degree of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a psychological condition that can lead to heightened bouts of anxiety, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, a negative outlook on life, and avoidance of certain driving situations. PTSD can be treated with the proper help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms after a car accident.