Why You Should Always See a Doctor After a Car Crash — Even if You Don't Feel Pain

People who visit emergency rooms immediately after a car accident come in with a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common include whiplash, concussion, and damage to the spinal cord. 

Even if you’re feeling fine after any kind of accident, though, always err on the side of caution and make an appointment with Dr. Dinash Yanamadula at Princeton Pain and Spine Institute in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He’s an expert in car accident injuries; he knows what questions to ask and what treatment plans to provide for you. Here’s why immediate attention is important.

Symptoms May Be Delayed

It’s important to understand that injuries don’t always appear immediately following a car accident. Your body pumps adrenaline throughout your body in stressful situations, such as the moments before and after an accident. Adrenaline is very useful in masking your pain, which is good during the crisis, but which can also be dangerous. This initial adrenaline boost is deceiving because you may not experience any symptoms or pain until long after the accident when the adrenaline has finally subsided, and you may have missed out on critical treatment in the interim. 

It’s also possible that the symptoms you feel immediately after the accident will begin to worsen in the hours following a car accident. What looks or feels like a minor injury can progress rapidly into something more severe. You should never take the "wait and see" route with your health, which is why it’s best to seek immediate medical attention. Dr. Yanamadula diagnoses injuries quickly, even if you haven’t felt the symptoms yet. Here are some of the most common injuries that must be treated quickly:

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs during a car accident when your neck snaps back and forth quickly and forcefully, such as when your car is hit from behind. This neck injury typically has symptoms that appear within 24 hours of the accident. You may experience:

Sometimes the blow that caused the whiplash can also cause a concussion.

Concussion

A concussion is a brain injury that is usually temporary but does affect brain function. It’s usually caused by a blow to the head — the soft brain tissue makes contact with the hard surface of the skull, causing a bruise. In a car accident, a concussion might occur if your airbags deploy, or if you hit your head on a hard surface. Most concussions don’t cause a loss of consciousness. It’s likely you won’t know you have one until you experience other symptoms such as:

Children are at a higher risk of concussion than adults because their heads are disproportionately large to the size of their bodies.

Spinal cord injury

You might think that a spinal cord injury after a car accident would be immediately apparent, but according to the Mayo Clinic, that isn’t the case. That’s why it’s critical to see Dr. Yanamadula right away to understand the extent of your injury. A spinal cord injury that isn’t recognized right away can lead to more severe complications like permanent loss of movement or loss of limb control. Any kind of spinal cord injury might include:

If you’ve been in a car accident, don’t delay getting treatment. Call our office at 609-308-3589 to make an appointment today or use our convenient online scheduling tool.

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