What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

The human body is not designed to handle the large amount of force and physical impact it absorbs during a high-impact car accident. No matter how minor the accident, how safe the car and how tightly the seat belt was fastened, you’re likely going to experience physical aches and pains following a collision. In many cases, car crashes lead to serious injuries that cause significant pain, debility and months of healing time to make a full recovery. There are multiple ways you may be injured in an accident, including:


  • Being thrown forward and backward 
  • Being thrown against the dashboard of the car
  • Being thrown out of the car
  • Being jerked sideways against the windshield
  • Being hit by flying debris or loose objects 


One of the dangers of car collision injuries is that signs and symptoms may not appear right away. That’s why it’s important that you learn what kinds of physical impact and symptoms to expect after a collision, and what you should do next. Keep reading to learn more.  

How to Take Care of Your Physical Health After a Car Accident

You should expect to feel sore and achy after a high-impact accident. But it’s crucial that you recognize the difference between bumps or bruises and more significant physical injuries that require medical care and treatment. Left untreated, even minor injuries can worsen and cause long-term pain and disability down the road. 


Keep reading to learn the physical symptoms you might feel after a car collision and how to take care of yourself if symptoms appear. 

Seek Immediate Care for Serious Symptoms

Some symptoms are more significant than others and require immediate medical attention. If you believe you have a fracture, spinal cord injury or head injury, seek emergent care. 


A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and it’s one of the most common car accident injuries. If you lose consciousness (even for a few seconds), feel dizzy or confused, can’t remember what happened, feel drowsy and lethargic, have difficulty communicating or thinking clearly, have a headache, or have nausea and vomiting, you may have a concussion. Don’t delay medical treatment for a concussion — if you have a head injury, your doctor needs to perform testing to ensure you don’t have life-threatening brain swelling or bleeding.

Expect Delayed Pain and Symptoms

Many signs and symptoms of injuries like whiplash, concussions, soft tissue injuries and spinal damage may not appear until several hours or days after an accident. During a car accident, your body experiences an adrenaline rush that can mask pain and other symptoms, causing you to believe you aren’t injured. Even if you don’t have visible injuries directly following an accident, monitor yourself for symptoms over the next few days and weeks.

Don’t Ignore Minor Aches and Pain

In the days and weeks following a car collision, any aches, pains, twinges or abnormal feelings you experience should be taken seriously. At the first sign of any pain or symptoms, make an appointment to see a doctor and get checked out. Unfortunately, many people brush off neck or back pain because they believe it’s a minor injury that will go away on its own. However, that’s not always the case.


Even mild pain can indicate a serious injury that needs medical treatment. For example:


  • Neck pain could be a sign of whiplash, a herniated disc, a joint injury or a pinched nerve
  • Low back pain could be a sign of a herniated disc, a joint injury, a pinched nerve or a compression fracture
  • Headaches could be a sign of whiplash, soft tissue strain or a concussion 


Failing to get an evaluation and treatment as soon as possible could escalate an injury and prolong the healing time. 

Find the Right Medical Provider

Following a car accident, find a medical provider who has experience treating common car crash injuries. At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, our orthopedic surgeons have decades of experience treating acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain and injuries. We have some tips on how to find the right medical care after a car collision:


5 Tips for Choosing Medical Help After a Car Accident   

Call Integrity Spine and Orthopedics If You’ve Been in a Car Accident

Contact Integrity Spine and Orthopedics if you experience a back, joint or soft tissue injury from a crash. Our board-certified team of doctors specializes in pain management, general orthopedics and minimally invasive spine surgeries to treat a wide range of spine, muscle and joint conditions. 


Don’t let a car collision injury disrupt your life for long. Let us help you get back on your feet and back to participating in the activities you love. Call us today at 904-456-0017 to schedule an appointment or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.

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