Each year in the United States, there are about 6 million car accidents on our nation’s roads that lead to about three million injuries. From whiplash to lower back injuries, many of these injuries don’t make themselves known until well after the accident, which is why a trip to one of our offices is always a good idea.
At Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management, our team is well-versed in the many ways you can injure yourself in an automobile collision, from the obvious to the more subtle. Through our expert evaluation, we can ensure that you get the timely care you need after a traumatic event like a car accident.
Common car accident injuries
As you can imagine, hurtling along at speed and colliding with another car or an object surrounded by 5,000 pounds of metal can lead to some serious injuries.
To give you an idea, here’s a list of the most common car accident consequences:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Lower back injuries
- Chest and shoulder injuries from the seatbelt
- Knee injuries
This list is by no means complete, but it represents some of the more common issues we see at our practice after automobile accidents.
Why the delay in some injuries?
When you’re in a car accident, your body goes through an immediate stress response that includes a big dose of adrenaline and cortisol. These fight-or-flight hormones are designed to give you the tools you need to flee or confront danger, and they also suppress pain.
So, you might injure yourself in a car accident, but you’re not going to necessarily feel the pain until after the stress response winds down.
Another problem is that many car accidents involve soft tissue injuries, and these injuries may not be obvious, at first. It can be helpful to think of it in these terms — you work out at the gym, pushing your muscles hard. The next day, you can barely move. Yet, in the hours immediately following your workout, you were moving just fine.
This same sequence can happen after a car accident. Your soft tissues are stretched or torn and it’s not until the next day that you feel the effects because your body protects itself through inflammation.
So, if you have a muscle strain or sprain in your back or some degree of whiplash in your neck, it’s not uncommon that you develop symptoms 24 (or more) hours after the accident.
Seek our help as soon as possible
Thanks to pain suppression and a potential delay in the symptoms of some injuries, we feel it’s always a good idea to have us examine you after a car accident. We know where to look, what questions to ask, and what imaging we should use to determine your health after a traumatic event.
This early care can help identify potential problems, and it can also help lay the groundwork for any claims you may need to make moving forward.
For expert care after a car accident, please contact us at one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York, to schedule an appointment.