After being in an auto accident, slip and fall, or animal attack it’s normal to be overcome by shock and adrenaline. These are your body’s natural defense mechanisms at work. Because of this, many people find that they don’t feel hurt or aren’t experiencing much pain after their initial accident. But days later the same people may find that they were more injured than they originally thought – after they start to feel the pain from hidden injuries. This is the number one reason we recommend seeking medical care right after or within the first few days following an accident.
Not all injuries are as noticeable as a broken limb or an open wound. Here are five hidden injuries that can be damaging if left unchecked and untreated:
1. Neck Injuries
Whiplash is a common auto accident injury. The whipping action of your head and neck can cause a wide range of soft tissue damage that may not be immediately painful. Without quick treatment, you may experience the effects of your neck injury for weeks, months, or longer. Oftentimes this type of injury requires additional physical therapy and pain management depending on several factors. The symptoms of whiplash can differ greatly from person to person.
2. Brain Injuries
Whiplash can also affect your brain. The force with which your body is propelled forward is enough to cause a concussion. Typically we think of this type of injury as the result of a blow to the head but it doesn’t take a lot of motion to cause internal damage. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- Memory loss
3. Back Injuries
Back injuries are also easy to miss within the first few days following an incident. Get checked out right away because unchecked swelling and bleeding along your spinal cord can cause numbness and even gradual paralysis. You can also experience less severe back pain caused by strained muscles. If left untreated, this injury can lead to long-term back problems.
4. Soft Tissue Injuries
Other than neck and back injuries, your feet, ankles, knees, wrists, shoulders, and elbows are also common areas for injuries to go initially unnoticed. Just like their more severe counterparts, leaving these areas unchecked can lead to future chronic pain.
5. Internal Damage
Internal bleeding can be well-hidden from those of us who are not medical professionals, and it can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms may not be visible until you are already in critical condition.
We hope you never have to worry about this – but just in case you are the victim of an unfortunate accident, remember it is always wise to seek medical attention right after or very soon after. Even if you aren’t in pain right away, or don’t think your accident was serious enough, it’s not worth the risk of long-term effects. There are many tests that doctors can perform to diagnose serious underlying damage. Ultimately, no amount of pain should be ignored. If you aren’t getting the care you think you deserve, seek a second opinion. Your health and well-being are important!