The aftermath of a car accident can differ greatly for everyone based on a number of factors. The intensity of the crash, where the car was hit, and whether or not a seatbelt was being properly utilized can all play a role in what the aftermath looks like because these questions can determine what types of injuries are sustained. The best way to determine what injuries you have is to visit a skilled Lithia Springs chiropractor so you can address any issues early. Once you understand the types of injuries you are dealing with, you can understand what to expect during recovery.
What to Expect with a Traumatic Brain Injury
While the name sounds scary, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is sustained when the brain is injured as a result of an outside force. In a car accident, this may happen when the head hits a window or other hard surface, or when the sudden movement causes the brain to jostle within the skull. A concussion is a mild TBI that is a very common car accident injury.
One of the major signs of a TBI is a loss of consciousness immediately following the impact, and this should always be treated immediately. As time passes, you may begin to notice a number of other symptoms. Any loss of memory, particularly if you have lost time immediately before or after the accident, is a sign of brain injury. It may be common to feel a bit shocked or dazed in the aftermath, but this should go away within hours and a prolonged lack of memory may indicate larger issues.
You may also feel confused or disoriented if you have sustained a TBI, as well as having sudden difficulty with communication, especially speaking. The inability to think clearly, problem-solve, or focus can also indicate concussions or more severe injuries. You should also keep an eye out for dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and ringing in ears as signs of a TBI.
What to Expect with a Disc or Spine Injury
With an injury to the spine or a disc, there can be a lot of variation from patient to patient, but a common set of symptoms often occurs. Any indication of a spinal injury requires immediate care as they can quickly progress to much more severe or chronic issues.
Some symptoms will be easy to correlate with the spine, such as back pain or stiffness, muscle weakness, or a restriction of movement in the spine. Muscles spasms may also be common. However, because the spine plays a vital role in keeping your body working properly, an injury may manifest in unexpected ways. Common examples are a loss of sense of temperature or touch, difficulty breathing, digestive issues, or a tingling sensation in the extremities.
If anything feels different following an accident, visiting a Lithia Springs chiropractor to rule out a spinal injury should be your first step. Left untreated, these problems can lead to more painful issues that last a lifetime.
What to Expect with a Shoulder Injury
Because of the seatbelt placement and our instinct to brace ourselves with our arms, shoulder injuries are very common after car accidents. Whiplash, where the muscles and tendons stretch or tear, is one common condition, but shoulders can be injured in various ways during a crash.
Any shoulder pain, especially during movement, is cause for concern, as well as a loss of strength or range of motion in the area. Because it is a joint, you may also notice popping and locking or grinding sensations that can indicate an injury to the shoulder. Swelling, numbness, tingling, or stiffness can also be symptoms.
What to Expect with a Broken Bone
Some of the bones most commonly broken in a crash are the wrist, ankle, shoulder, rib, and arm or leg, though others can be injured as well. In some cases, it will be obvious the bone is broken, as it may protrude through the skin or have other visible deformities. If you aren’t sure, you can look for swelling or bruising in the area, an inability to move the body part or bear weight on it, and pain that is worsened by pressure and movement.
Whatever symptoms you are experiencing, it is important to seek out qualified chiropractors to help identify the cause and find effective solutions. At AICA of Lithia Springs, our team of chiropractors works closely with medical and orthopedic specialists to provide a holistic plan for your recovery. If you are experiencing any pain or concerning changes following an accident, call us today for an initial evaluation.