- Headache – A Headache after a motor vehicle accident, or any accident, can be a temporary symptom, but can also be a symptom of a serious problem. You need to have headache symptoms evaluated by a medical doctor , even if you do not think it is serious or severe. It may indicate head trauma, concussion, bleeding, and a neck injury. Headaches can be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, confusion and memory loss. Pain may radiate down your back and into your shoulders and arms. If you or a family member are in an accident and have a headache, do not wait, have a medical doctor evaluate the headache as soon as possible to avoid or treat a serious medical problem quickly.
- Back Pain– Rapid acceleration/deceleration (slowing, stopping, turning, twisting) of a motor vehicle can put severe stress on the lumbar and thoracic spine. Back pain is a common symptom following any accident. This injury causes an inflammatory reaction that can cause further damage and be very painful. Back pain can become worse over time and if not correctly treated, require surgery. Back pain needs to be evaluated and treated by a qualified medical doctor immediately after a car accident.
- Neck Pain & Whiplash– The neck is often violently turned, twisted, moved back and forward at the time of collision. This results in severe stress to the joints, nerves and connective structures of the neck. Although neck pain after accidents is very common, it can be a symptom of a serious problem. Pain and numbness may radiate from the neck into the shoulders and arms. Neck pain, therefore, requires immediate medical evaluation and treatment.
- Shoulder Pain– Even though you had a seatbelt on at the time of your accident, your shoulders are subject to a severe stress from the collision. The rotator cuff of the shoulder is often strained and inflammation and small tears may occur. These injuries can heal if you are quickly and correctly treated by a medical doctor.
- Hip and Sacroiliac Pain– Often overlooked and called back pain, the hip and sacroiliac joint are frequently injured in car accidents. These joints need to be separately evaluated and treated after your motor vehicle accident. If you are experiencing pain with sitting and walking, your hip and sacroiliac joint are probably injured. These joints need to be carefully evaluated and treated to avoid permanent pain and walking problems.
For more information, see our car accident injury information center.