Looking After Your Health If You’ve Had a Car Accident
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a terrifying experience for any of us. There’s no need to make it worse by worrying about how to seek healthcare after the incident. Today we look at how to evaluate how you feel, and how to best advocate for yourself, in the wake of a traumatic car crash.
How to evaluate your injuries
If you have suffered visible injuries during your car crash, it’s a far easier process to decide if you need to visit a doctor or not. That’s not to say it’s always simple, however. Adrenaline can do some strange things to the human body. It’s frighteningly easy to underestimate your own injuries after a motor vehicle accident. While something like a deep laceration or broken limb is pretty obvious, it’s more than possible to miss invisible injuries and underplay the severity of pain. Deploying airbags, although they save lives, can also cause injuries such as bruising and even broken ribs you may not immediately feel.
Hours after the accident, expect to experience symptoms like mild dizziness and nausea as the adrenaline wears off. Keep hyper-aware of other symptoms you experience, and don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention if you are concerned.
The risk of invisible injuries
Invisible injuries are the most concerning in the wake of a car accident. Everything from simple whiplash to a torn rotator cuff or devastating organ injury can be missed as you deal with the immediate implications of the crash. The Balance has an excellent guide to handling the crash site correctly and to your benefit.
This is why you should always seek an emergency medical evaluation with your specialist practitioner or the emergency room of choice in the wake of an accident, even if you feel okay. Rather allow a doctor to decide you’re fine then find out you were tragically wrong. No doctor will judge you for seeking an evaluation post-accident. It’s especially important to establish if you have a concussion, as this will need special management in the first 24 hours. If it was a fairly serious crash, expect to receive X-rays, MRIs, and even a CAT scan, based on the doctor’s advice.
Recovering from long-term issues
Sadly, escaping critical injury during the smash-up doesn’t mean there won’t be long-term issues. Joint pain, stiffness, and whiplash are all common, even after the mildest of vehicle accidents. Clinics like ICBC Chiropractic have an excellent summary of how to seek trauma-reducing care for basic pains and whiplash during your recovery, and you may enjoy comforting services such as massage or acupuncture for general pain, too.
Depending on the extent of injuries you suffered, you may also need to consider using a physiotherapist or other rehabilitation service to help you recover a full range of motion. Scars, severe jaw breaks, and other injuries may require consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss reconstructive surgery. John Hopkins Medicine has an excellent summary of the vast range of reconstructive techniques that are available, so rest assured that you will get the help you need. Always remember that positive thinking and how you approach medical situations can have a huge impact on your recovery.
While a car accident is certainly traumatic, and can have a severe impact on your body, there’s always help at hand to keep you safe. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, and remember to have a doctor tell you that you’re fine instead of underestimating your injuries.