One of the most common forms of car accidents is rear-end collisions, in which your car is hit from behind, most often at a low speed. Fortunately, these types of accidents often cause minor damage to the vehicles involved and result in less serious injuries than other types of crashes. However, this does not mean that a rear-end collision is always harmless. People involved in these crashes can suffer injuries, even fatal ones. They are also one of the most common reasons people seek whiplash treatment. Even if you do not feel there is anything wrong, it is still important to visit a doctor after even a minor accident in order to check for hidden injuries.
Some Symptoms May Be Delayed
After an accident, you may feel perfectly fine and even more energetic than normal. This is due to the body’s response to stress, in which hormones like adrenaline are released in order to allow you to keep going. This adrenaline and other endorphins can cover up even severe car accident injuries or pain that may not become obvious for hours, or even days. While you may be feeling okay, that does not mean there is nothing going on in your body that can cause damage.
At the scene of the accident, the first responders will likely do an evaluation to rule out anything obvious, but they will not be able to do thorough imaging at this time. They may also miss injuries that are not visible and you are not yet able to explain symptoms.
Common Injuries After a Rear-End Collision
Because you are often stopped, or moving extremely slowly, when being rear-ended, the sudden impact can cause the body to move at an unnatural speed, in ways it normally would not. This can lead to a number of serious injuries to the spinal cord, back, neck, bones, and brain. Some of the most common injuries in rear-end collisions are also prone to delayed symptoms.
Whiplash is one of the most sustained injuries in these scenarios. This occurs when the neck is suddenly jolted backward and forward, causing damage to the soft tissues in the area. Whiplash leads to neck pain and stiffness and can cause a lack of mobility. With proper whiplash treatment, the condition is usually reversible and can be gone within a matter of weeks or months.
Another common occurrence due to the sudden movement of the body is a concussion, or a mild form of traumatic brain injury. Concussions are caused by the head hitting a hard object within the car, or even moving enough to hit the skull on impact. While this brain injury is mild, it can become more severe when left untreated.
Other internal injuries, including organ damage and spinal damage, can occur as a result of a rear-end collision as well.
Why Seek Medical Care?
Whether you feel okay after a crash or your symptoms seem manageable at home, it is highly recommended you visit a specialist after your accident to make sure everything is going well. The imaging performed at this visit can establish a medical record that may be used in any claims you file, and they may also identify injuries you would not have noticed until they worsened. Lawyers recommend these visits to create a trail of your medical care and establish a connection between your accident and your injury. Doctors encourage visits to mitigate risk and begin treatment protocol as quickly as possible.
Those who specialize in whiplash treatment know that leaving an injury untreated can make a situation worse easily. You may not acknowledge your symptoms as being whiplash, especially if they appear days or weeks after the incident occurs, and are likely to continue life as normally as possible. As you move your neck and shoulders, you are not following the exercise routine designed by a physical therapist and may be further damaging your tissue. Not only will this worsen your pain, but it can lead to more permanent injuries over time.
Specialized Treatment When It Counts
If you have recently been involved in a rear-end car accident, you will want to meet with a specialist who is well versed in car accident injury and whiplash treatment. At AICA Orthopedics, our team of multidisciplinary specialists is focused on giving car accident victims the care they need to return to their normal activities. Through an onsite imaging center and a combination of doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, AICA Orthopedics provides a comprehensive plan of care for all of our patients. Don’t wait until your pain is severe- call us today for a full evaluation.