Car accidents can be one of the most frustrating and traumatic experiences. After handling police reports, insurance, tow trucks, car rentals, and basic recovery from injuries, it can seem like the ordeal is over. However, most people involved in car accidents will have injuries that are slow to heal or may only appear after a few days.
Hidden Injuries to Watch Out for After a Car Accident
When recovering after a car accident, your health is a priority. Make sure to pay close attention to these conditions that may only come out after a few days.
The force of a collision can cause the tissue between the vertebrae of the spine to rupture or balloon. While this can happen immediately, sometimes, it can develop or worsen in weeks or months following an accident. A herniated disc puts pressure on nerves coming out of the spine and can cause severe pain, numbness, or even loss of control of muscles in the arms and legs.
Pay close attention to back pain while recovering from a car accident and if there are changes or worsening pain, contact your doctor to examine it before it progresses.
While injuries like whiplash or a concussion are common after a car accident, it’s important to ensure you monitor your mental health after a car accident to ensure there is not any long term damage, or Traumatic Brain Injuries. If you’ve suffered a concussion, headaches, forgetfulness, or a change in mood after a car accident, there may be deeper injuries than you were treated for. Seek a neurological consultation if you’re experiencing these symptoms.
In addition to physical brain injuries, we are at risk for psychological injuries after a car accident as well, which are not as easily treated. People recovery from car accidents can develop phobias, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues that were previously not a concern.
These may develop slowly over weeks and months following a car accident. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are feeling more anxious, scared, or apathetic, it’s important to seek counselling and mental health treatment to prevent them from worsening.
In a car accident, the knee will often hit the dashboard which can result in a shattered patella or other knee injuries. While this will likely be treated at the time of the accident, there can be scar tissue that is not addressed and can cause problems months after the accident. Other injuries, like a torn meniscus or patellar chrondromalcia may not be obvious right away and can require surgery weeks after the accident. If you notice inflammation or pain in your knee even months after the accident, it’s important to visit your doctor.
Shoulder and Neck Injuries
Because the seatbelt only wraps around one shoulder, often this can bear the brunt of a forceful stop or collision. In addition to neck injuries related to whiplash, these can become worse over time if ignored. The twisting motion your body experiences when it comes to a sudden stop with a seatbelt on can cause a variety of shoulder injuries that can become chronic and may need surgery to repair.
Physiotherapy for After a Car Accident
Physiotherapy is one of the most recommended avenues to recover after a car accident. For both short and long term injuries, or injuries that only appear months after the event, physiotherapy can help.
Physiotherapists are trained professionals that are able to recognize injuries and provide treatment options for them. Stiffness, pain, and numbness caused by injuries can all be addressed when physiotherapists are part of your healthcare team during recovery.
Contact Physio Art
If you’ve recently been in a car accident, Physio Art in Hamilton can help. We work with patients suffering from injuries, stiffness, or mental health issues relating to car accidents to help you return to your regular level of functioning.
Car accident recovery is no easy feat. Let Physio Art help you heal after this event and get you feeling back to normal – or better. If you’ve been in a car accident, contact us for a physiotherapy Hamilton appointment.