You were in an accident. It was a difficult experience, but you made it through unscathed. Then, days later, you begin to experience headaches or back pain. Are the two possibly connected? The answer is yes, they may very well be. Injuries from auto accidents are incredibly common. In fact one in three collisions will result in some form of injury to one or more of the parties involved. Sometimes these injuries are severe and immediately obvious. Yet many others are not even known until well after the victim has left the scene of the accident.
Adrenaline, a powerful hormone secreted by the adrenal glands during stressful or exciting situations, dulls pain receptors and often masks injuries. In other cases, it simply takes time for underlying damage to become evident through painful or troublesome symptoms. In either case, the injured party typically feels fine immediately following the accident. It’s for this reason that seeking medical attention after a collision is nearly always recommended, even if you feel just fine. There are multiple injuries that can occur without your knowledge. Here are just three of the more common hidden injuries that may follow an auto accident:
- Traumatic Brain Injury – A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result after a sudden jolt or blow to the head. Sometimes these injuries are more severe and their effects are readily evident. In other cases, TBI may be “mild” and occur in a form such as a concussion. Typically, concussions and other types of mild TBI are treated with rest and acetaminophen for pain, but as they can be difficult to diagnose, these injuries are also often overlooked. While they may not always pose immediate danger, the potential long-term consequences are very real. Headaches, dizziness, memory problems, personality changes and even a degenerative brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (often found in athletes) can result. In many cases, this type of hidden injury can take months before the full, troublesome effects are felt.
- Soft Tissue Damage – Soft tissue is a general term used to describe the various types of tissue that surround important structures and organs within the body. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves all fall into this category. When soft tissue damage occurs due to an auto accident, it is not always immediately felt, and when it is, it is frequently misdiagnosed and treated unsuccessfully. Without understanding the true source of their pain, many patients with soft tissue damage rely on pain medication and endure life-altering side effects for years.
- Whiplash – Among the most common of all auto accident injuries, whiplash occurs with the neck is forcefully moved from side to side or front to back. This motion causes the muscles and ligaments to be suddenly stretched beyond their normal range of motion. As a result, neck pain, headaches, and dizziness can occur. The hallmark treatments for this condition in the past were rest and immobilization of the neck with a soft collar brace. However, more recent research indicates that this can actually hinder rehabilitation of the soft tissue and small, range of motion exercises are better suited for rehabilitation. While whiplash is often quickly identified following an accident, what is not often understood is the aftermath of degenerating joints which may occur years after the injury was sustained. Rehabilitation with a physician who specializes in soft tissue injury, such as a chiropractor, is wise even if the injury may initially appear to be minor.
Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers can tell you the many instances of victims who thought they were fine immediately after an auto accident only to discover the full extent of their injuries days, weeks, months, and even years later. Seeking both legal and medical advice from an attorney in Baton Rouge after an auto accident is always a wise decision. Even if you are not in need of the services, being able to rule out potential problems that will pop up later is invaluable.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and are seeking the advice of a skilled Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer, contact Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers. With years of experience in nearly every type of vehicular accident and injury, our attorneys can help you learn more about your options and guide your case to a positive outcome. To request a free consultation, click here, or call our office directly at (225) 387-2323.