What to Expect (Physically) After a Car Accident

Jul 21, 2020

If you’ve been in a car accident, you may associate the aftermath with a number of stressful experiences like dealing with insurance companies, mechanics, and police reports. However, it’s important to pay attention to the stress your body has experienced as well. Visiting a car accident doctor in Marietta can help you to assess any injuries you may have sustained and ensure that you are given treatment as needed. Responses to trauma can vary between people, so it can be helpful to understand what symptoms to watch for in the days following your accident.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

traumatic brain injuryWhen the brain injured as a result of outside trauma, this is commonly referred to as a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. While this term sounds serious, TBIs are very common and can range in their severity. However, it is hard to tell from symptoms alone how severe a TBI may be and therefore any symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.

The most commonly diagnosed TBI after a car accident is a concussion, which is caused by the impact of your head against a hard surface such as a window or dashboard. In some cases where you are jostled, your brain may bounce against the hard surface of your skull to cause the concussion. While most concussions pass with proper care, they can sometimes lead to more serious issues and should always be assessed.

Some common symptoms that indicate a TBI are headaches, dizziness, nausea, or problems with concentration and memory. A loss of consciousness, slurred speech, or any drastic changes in mood are also indicators of a harsh impact that need to be addressed.

Soft Tissue Injuries

During the impact of an accident, our body may move in ways it is not used to, or simply be jerked at unnatural speeds. This can place stress on the body that is not able to be absorbed by the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding our bones, leading them to tear and sprain.
The most common form of a soft tissue injury is whiplash, in which your neck and shoulders suffer damage, causing pain and trouble with movement. These symptoms, as well as pain that radiates down arms or legs, can indicate whiplash or other injuries, like disc damage.

Understanding what type of injury you’ve sustained is critical to developing a proper treatment plan. While many injuries can be addressed with pain relief, rest, and ice, others may require more intense care. Visiting a car accident doctor in Marietta can help you understand how your soft tissues were impacted and the best route towards recovery.

Broken Bones

A broken or fractured bone is usually apparent immediately after the injury, where the site will be painful and potentially bruised or swollen. Due to the way we brace for impact and certain body parts’ proximity to car parts, car accidents often lead to broken legs, arms, wrists, or shoulders. These should all be treated immediately to both reduce pain and prevent further damage.

In some cases, it will be obvious which bone is broken and how severely- such as open fractures, when the bone shows through the skin. But in most cases, a doctor will perform a simple x-ray to determine the break’s location. When it is possible, a cast or brace can be applied to stabilize the bone. Some bones, like the ribs, cannot easily be casted and will need to be treated cautiously as they heal.

Broken bones can take weeks to months to fully heal, and may lead to mild pain after recovery is over. Working with the proper team can help you see the best results.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord InjuriesWhile spinal cord injuries usually result from serious accidents, they can occur after even minor events as well. They result from penetrating injury or trauma to the spine and can have severe results, often leading to paralysis that is permanent.

An injury to the spinal cord is usually not obvious right after it happens. Instead, symptoms may begin to appear slowly. If you begin to experience loss of mobility, numbness, pain, or a loss of control over bodily functions, see a car accident doctor in Marietta immediately to prevent further damage.

Many of these conditions will worsen over time without treatment. At AICA Marietta, our multidisciplinary team of specialists will assess your injuries and develop a personalized treatment just for you. We offer chiropractic care, neurology and orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and a host of other services to help you through this time. Contact AICA Marietta today to schedule your consultation.