The Head and Neck
The two most common head injuries you should keep an eye out for are:
- Concussion: A concussion happens when you receive a blow or injury to the head.
- Whiplash: Whiplash happens when your neck jerks quickly back and forth, damaging the soft tissue in the area and to the brain.
If you experience head pain after you are injured in a car accident, accompanied by recurring headaches, blurry vision, difficulty speaking, mood changes, or fatigue, seek medical care. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to seek care from a professional that is licensed in traumatic brain injury care.
The Back and Spine
Some back injuries you could experience are:
- Herniated Discs: Also known as slipped discs, this occurs when the vertebrae are pressed together and call the disc to slip or bulge from between them.
- Sciatica: This condition occurs when the nerves in the lower back are pinched. It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling from the lower back down to the legs.
- Sprains: A sprain occurs when there is an injury to the back muscles, which can cause damage to the soft tissue in the area.
- Fractures: If there is an injury to the back or spine, it can cause a fracture to the vertebrae.
If you experience trouble walking, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, decreased mobility, or other symptoms, talk to your provider about possible back and spine injuries.
Potential shoulder injuries include:
- Sprain: Overextending the shoulder muscle can cause a sprain or strain to the soft tissue in the area.
- Torn Rotator Cuff: Like a strain, a torn rotator cuff occurs when the soft tissue in the shoulder is hyperextended, but with this injury, it is strained to the point of tearing.
- Dislocation: This occurs when the shoulder joint is forced out of the socket.
If you experience limited mobility, shoulder pain, poor sleep, muscle weakness, or any other issues with your shoulders following your car accident, seek medical advice.