Walking away from a crash with little more than a few bruises may give you a false sense of security. Injuries may take hours or days to manifest, and in some cases, this may put you at risk for serious consequences.
You should pay attention to the signals your body gives you after an accident. The early warning signs may sound to tell you that something serious is lurking below the surface.
What is a delayed-onset injury?
When a crash jostles you back and forth, it may not leave noticeable signs. Some injuries, such as fractures or burns, are obvious, while others may take some time to manifest. This is often due to the high dose of adrenaline that masks the pain and progression of the internal damage.
In some cases, you may not notice anything is wrong for days after a crash; at that point, the injury may have progressed. Some common delayed onset injuries include:
- Brain bleed or bruise
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding
- Pinched nerve or herniated disc in the spine
What are common signs of a delayed onset injury?
Brain injuries often manifest with intense headaches that do not improve over time. You may also experience dizziness, vomiting, lethargy, insomnia and mood swings.
Soft tissue damage depends on the body part. Along with a limited range of motion, your muscles may seize up, burn and radiate pain.
Internal bleeding may produce bruising on the skin that gets darker. Look out for the bruise to spread across the impacted area for a sign that something more serious is going on.
An issue with the spinal cord may manifest in your extremities with numbness and tingling.
It is crucial that you receive medical treatment after a crash. Sometimes, when symptoms manifest, the damage may require substantial care.