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Can You Get Nerve Damage from a Car Accident?

car accident neurology

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most people drive. In fact, around 88 percent of people in the United States age 16 and older have driven a motor vehicle. With so many people on the road, it is easy to get into an accident.

Unlike broken bones, cuts, or other damage from car accidents, you cannot see damage to your nerves. You could have damaged nerves and not even realize it after you have been in a car accident. You will likely have adrenaline flowing and be in shock. That means it could be several days until you see any symptoms from nerve damage. Therefore, you will want to see a neurologist after a car accident.

How a Car Accident Can Cause Nerve Damage

If you hit another car while driving, the impact might cause damage to your nerves. The resulting injury might be debilitating, causing a range of issues. Your nerves are designed to send signals around your body, allowing you to feel and function well. Some kinds of damage could include severed nerves.

If you are exposed to a cut or a sudden movement, your nerves could become severed. If the insulation around the nerves is intact, you might have new fibers growing. Still, if the cut is severe, you might need to have surgery. Your doctor can help you decide on the right treatment plan for you.

You could also have nerve irritation. If the cushions between your vertebra become ruptured or herniated, the nerves might have too much pressure on them. That can cause irritation, which might move throughout your body. You could also have stretched nerves. Whiplash is one example of that, and it is a common injury sustained after rear-end collisions. Your neck might move back and forth violently, causing the nerves to stretch. It can cause headaches or other issues.

Compressed nerves could happen if you have a broken bone or a dislocated joint. You might have damage to the bones in your spinal column, and that can compress the nerve. You may have also heard it referred to as pinched nerves.

No matter the type of nerve damage, you do not want to have an extreme case. If you do, it can cause a loss of feeling, either total or partial. You might not have enough sensation in the area either. That can lead to paralysis. Even if it is not as severe, you might still have chronic pain, and it can be harder to go about your daily life or work as usual. Luckily, treating the issue can help you make it better and restore your everyday functions.

Neurological Disorders Caused by Auto Accidents

Damage to your nerves might result in issues like tingling, a bladder issue, or weakness in your limbs. You might find your skin is more sensitive, or you might feel a burning sensation. You could also have some paralysis.

Not all symptoms show up immediately, so you will want to get treated as soon as possible. Some people suffering from car accidents might not have any signs of pain until a while later. That means you will want to see a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. You can get a medical exam and have the issue diagnosed. They will find out how much nerve damage you have.

You can get treatment for the doctor’s condition, and that might include physical therapy and medication. The treatment could involve fixing the nerves or reducing your pain. That way, you can get your mobility back. If the accident were someone else’s fault, you would want a medical exam so you can get compensation for it.

When to See a Neurologist

You will want to visit your doctor after having a car accident, even if you do not have threatening injuries. If you have pain or a headache, you could have a severe problem, which might worsen over time. That is why treatment is so vital.

The diagnosis might consist of an EMG test to look for the muscles’ electrical activity. They might do a neurological exam to look at your coordination and reflexes. And you might have a CT scan or an MRI to find an internal injury.

Luckily, getting treatment right away can reduce or eliminate nerve damage. That way, you can lead an active life. If you have issues like neuropathy, you might get a carpal tunnel release. And if the spine has become damaged, you might have injection therapy or another type of procedure. Diagnosing the issue and getting nerve damage treatment might be invasive and costly, but you should not avoid getting treatment.

What Can Seeing a Neurologist After a Car Accident Do?

There are many kinds of neurological issues, but you should look for some more common symptoms. Even if these do not seem that bad, they may point to a bigger problem. These might include numbness in your arms or legs, migraines, or tingling. The symptoms might be minor or severe, and they might change as time goes on. Sometimes, they could get worse over time.

Luckily, your neurologist can help treat these problems. The treatment plan is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the medical professional will work with you, so they can determine what is causing your pain or other symptoms. Then, they will craft the right treatment plan for you. That way, you can address the root causes of your symptoms and start feeling better.

Closing Thoughts

The risk of a driver crashing is the highest during the first year they have their license, according to the CDC. Still, an accident can happen to anyone, and it might or might not be your fault. You might not notice any symptoms after a crash, or you might think they will resolve themselves. However, treating the resulting issues early on can reduce your risk of future problems, so you should make an appointment with your neurologist. You will want to have a medical exam anyway after being in an accident.

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