Be Aware of Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident

Though 5.4 million people sustained car accident injuries within a single year, many didn’t realize they were injured immediately after the crash. Adrenaline could mask pain after a car accident, making it difficult for you to realize you need treatment.

Some delayed symptoms after a car accident could jeopardize your health long-term. Remaining aware of potential delayed injuries can ensure you receive the treatment you need. Read on to discover what symptoms you may experience after a crash.

Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident

Many car accident victims unknowingly develop serious health conditions following a crash. You might resume work or physical activity, thinking everything is okay. Neglecting to recognize your symptoms could lead to complications.

In some cases, people attribute new symptoms to existing injuries instead of recognizing a new problem. Your symptoms could get worse following a crash.

Visit a car accident chiropractor after an accident. They can schedule imaging and assess your health. 

Otherwise, delaying treatment can put your spine, brain, and abdominal organs at risk. Here are a few delayed injuries after a car accident you could experience. If these symptoms sound familiar, visit a doctor right away. 

Back Pain

Following an accident, back pain could indicate:

  • Slipped discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Compression fractures
  • Cervical vertebrae fractures
  • Spinal cord damage

The impact of the collision will put pressure on your spine, causing your injuries. Pain can range from mild to severe. 

Back pain is one of the most common symptoms after an accident. The relative risk of future lower back pain after a car accident is 2.7. About 63% of ongoing lower back pain is connected to a prior injury in a car crash.

When a collision puts pressure on your spine, it causes a disc to rupture or slip out of place. You could experience a dull ache or sharp pain. Other symptoms include a limited range of motion or stiffness.

If these symptoms sound familiar, visit your local car accident chiropractor. They can schedule imaging tests (such as X-rays or MRI). Imaging will determine the extent of your injury, allowing your chiropractor to develop a customized treatment plan. 

Without treatment, back pain can limit your mobility and ability to work. Your pain could affect your mood and quality of life. 

Neck Pain

Whiplash is the most common neck injury you can sustain following a car accident. The collision can cause your head to snap back toward your seat during a rear-end crash. The force can cause:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury. It can put a strain on your back muscles, neck muscles, and soft tissues.

Neck pain, when unrelated to whiplash injuries, can indicate a spinal cord injury. Visit a chiropractor immediately after a car accident. They’ll ensure you begin treatment before complications develop. 

After an accident, muscle sprains or strains can develop. The muscles in your neck can stretch or tear after sudden movement. You could experience pain after a car accident if you delay treatment. 

However, it can take time before you experience pain or tenderness. Stiffness or a reduced range of motion in your neck indicates you need immediate treatment. Otherwise, these symptoms can cause chronic pain and long-term damage. 


Commonly delayed injuries after a car accident, like headaches, could indicate:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Concussions
  • Whiplash

Headaches following a collision are also called post-traumatic headaches and collision-related headaches. They can take hours or even days following a crash to develop.

During a collision, your head could hit the car’s interior, causing trauma to your head and/or neck. The force could cause the brain to move in your skull, leading to a TBI.

A mild headache could indicate there’s an underlying issue. Don’t wait for your pain after a car accident to get worse. Instead, visit a chiropractor right away for a full assessment. 

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain as a result of a crash sometimes indicates organ damage or internal bleeding. The force can cause blunt trauma to your abdomen. When not treated promptly, your car accident injuries could become life-threatening.

Let a doctor know if you experience:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Bruising
  • Fainting
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

These symptoms indicate you require immediate medical attention. Internal bleeding isn’t always visible from the outside.

Neglecting to seek treatment could cause complications or even death. Early diagnosis and treatment could make a major difference to your recovery and future health. 

Numbness and Tingling

Stiffness and neck soreness aren’t always the first signs of whiplash. You could experience a tingling sensation or numbness in your extremities.

This pain could occur due to an injury to the nerves surrounding your spine. Pain will persist without treatment. Your car accident chiropractor can diagnose and treat a spinal injury that may cause these symptoms. 

Behavioral Changes

You could experience subtle behavioral changes following an accident. A concussion can cause:

  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Personality changes

The symptoms are your brain’s way of saying something’s wrong. After a car accident, you could develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms could begin within a month of the crash or take years to develop.

Symptoms vary between individuals. However, you could experience intrusive memories, negative changes in your mood, or changes in your reactions. Medications and therapy can help you manage your symptoms. 

Let a doctor know if you experience changes to your mood, memory, or ability to concentrate. These symptoms can affect your daily life. They won’t go away without professional treatment. 

Visit Your Car Accident Chiropractor

Do these delayed symptoms after a car accident sound familiar? Don’t hesitate to visit a local car accident chiropractor. They can complete a full assessment to determine the underlying issue.

With regular treatment, you can reduce your pain after a car accident and avoid complications. Anthem Chiropractic has 25 years of experience treating car accident injuries. 

We can reduce your pain and help you accomplish your health goals. We’ll develop a personalized treatment plan based on your needs and symptoms. Contact us to begin treating your car accident injuries. 

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