Watch Out for These 5 Delayed Injuries after a Car Accident

Jan 16, 2021

We drive by car accidents every day, but when you’re the one in the accident it is a much different experience. Even if you were in a small rear-end collision you can still experience an injury after a car accident. A general rule of thumb for car accident injuries is that if there is any damage to your car then there is likely damage to your body as well. However, in the stress of the moment after a car accident you might not realize you have actually been injured. Beware of car accident injuries commonly referred to as delayed injuries because they don’t always have symptoms right away. If you are worried about a delayed injury, Marietta orthopedics doctors can help diagnose and treat all types of car accident injuries.

Here are 5 common car accident injuries that can have delayed symptom onset. If you experience any of these, be sure to get in touch with Marietta orthopedics specialists at AICA to get prompt treatment.


What Does Whiplash Feel LikeAs the most common car accident injury, it might seem like an obvious injury but it is actually not! There is no specific test or scan for whiplash because it can affect the body in a variety of ways, from your spine to your muscles, soft tissues, and nerves. If you were rear-ended then your head and neck may have flung forward and backward with the impact, causing whiplash. Whiplash can lead to headaches, neck and back pain, muscle strain, and even a herniated disc.

Herniated Disc

What Happens if a Herniated Disc Goes UntreatedA herniated disc is also sometimes referred to as a slipped disc and has to do with the soft, spongy discs that separate the vertebrae in your spine. When one of those discs gets jostled out of place it is called a herniated disc. A slipped or herniated disc can put pressure on a nearby nerve, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in the immediate area and also in other parts of your body. When the disc is not in its proper place it also cannot perform its other function of absorbing shock and keeping your vertebrae from rubbing together. When a herniated disc goes untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage and more.

Muscle Strains or Sprains

From strained neck muscles to a sprained wrist, muscles and soft tissues can become damaged from the stress and force of the car accident. In a case like whiplash, your neck muscles are strained out of their normal range of motion with the force of the accident. This can lead to sore, stiff neck muscles that may even become inflamed. It can make turning your head from side to side incredibly painful as well.


Headaches are common after a car accident, whether from the emotional stress of the accident alone or if there is something more serious going on. A headache can be a sign that you may have a more serious injury going on, like a neck or back injury. If you notice a headache in the hours or even days after the accident that seems to get gradually worse and worse, it’s time to talk to your doctor and find out if this is a sign of something more.


A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury and can be tricky to identify after a car accident. You may not remember bumping your head or the force of the accident may have caused your brain to jostle inside your skull and lead to bruising. Concussion symptoms can vary and can slowly develop in the hours and days after the initial accident. If you suspect a concussion, even if you think it is mild, you should talk to your doctor and get checked out to avoid it turning into something more serious.

The team at AICA has a specialty team of Marietta orthopedics experts who are experienced in dealing with all types of car accident injuries. Our highly trained and skilled doctors are familiar with all types of symptoms and can provide clear, accurate diagnosis for your car accident injury. We use state-of-the-art technologies like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans on-site so you can get diagnostic imaging and results all in one convenient location. Your doctor will want to do a physical exam to assess the affected area and also utilize diagnostic imaging to get a clearer picture of how the car accident may have affected your bones, muscles, and other soft tissues. Talk with a car accident doctor at AICA Orthopedics about your symptoms after a car accident, how long you’ve had them, and their severity, so you can get on the road to treatment, healing, and recovery.