whiplash after car accident

Delayed Car Accident Injuries

You’ve been in an automobile accident, and while your vehicle has sustained injuries, you feel pretty good — good enough to worry about your car damage and call your agent. After all, if you aren’t bleeding, limping or in pain, you weren’t physically hurt, right? Unfortunately, you can’t be sure of that unless you seek medical attention. Many injuries don’t make themselves known for hours, days or even weeks after a collision. Delaying treatment can make your injuries worse. No treatment at all can leave you with a preventable permanent injury.

A number of injuries may not make themselves known until long after impact. They include the following:


Whiplash is caused by your neck being forced forward and/or backward in an abrupt fashion, causing a neck strain or sprain. While some people notice immediate symptoms, others don’t for 24 hours or more. These symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Low back pain
  • Arm pain and/or numbness
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue

Even slow-motion crashes can cause serious injuries. The speed of the car doesn’t matter as much as the whipping neck motion the collision causes. You can’t afford to assume your neck is fine until you’ve had it confirmed by a physician. Sometimes a stiff neck is more than just a temporary pain.


You may think that a concussion is an obvious injury, but not everyone loses consciousness. Anytime you’ve received a blow to the head, even during a low-speed accident, you need to have the injury checked out by a medical professional. In fact, you can suffer a concussion when your head simply moves abruptly, causing the brain to hit the inside of your skull. Even mild concussions can result in long-term cognitive issues, especially if left undiagnosed. After an accident, you need to be on the lookout for the following:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches, often with nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory or concentration issues
  • Changes in mood
  • Problems sleeping

When you seek treatment after an accident, the physician will thoroughly evaluate you for a concussion. Going untreated means your symptoms can worsen and lead to long-lasting damage, including problems with memory and information processing.

Muscular/Skeletal Injuries

When any point of your body is pushed around violently, you can sustain injury. Common ailments caused by vehicle accidents include back pain, leg strain and shoulder problems. Like with whiplash and concussions, the symptoms don’t always show up immediately. What may seem like minor discomfort can morph into excruciating pain days and weeks down the line if you do not receive prompt treatment.

After an accident, you should seek a medical evaluation from Regional Medical Group, even if you feel fine. The combination of adrenaline and shock can mask many injuries in the short term, but they will make themselves known in the coming hours and days. The highly trained staff at Regional Medical will identify these problems and treat them, possibly heading off serious complications. Remember, few accidents leave you completely unscathed. To be safe, seek a doctor’s advice.


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