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When to See a Neurologist After a Car Accident in New York

When To See A Neurologist After a Car Accident

There were more than 13,000 motor vehicle crashes in New York in February of 2020 alone, the majority of which were caused by distracted drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes can be dangerous depending on the position of the riders and the orientation and speed of the impact. Many people don’t notice any problems until several days after an auto accident. During this waiting period, a lot can happen to the body, especially to the nervous system.

Keep reading to learn what warning signs to look for after the collision and when to see an experienced neurologist after car accident, before it’s too late.

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Common Auto-Related Injuries

There are a few injuries that are commonly caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Neck and Back Injuries

The most popularly known injury to the neck and the back is whiplash. This is caused by momentum. When the car abruptly stops in the crash, your head keeps moving forward.

While this can lead to only minor aches and sprains, it can also lead to herniated discs and torn muscles. Your spinal cord could also be harmed in some serious cases, which can lead to paralysis.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head injuries can be the sneakiest ones of all. Most people leave the scene of the crash with simple lacerations and abrasions, but others aren’t so lucky.

Some end up having a brain bleed. However, those with brain bleeds wouldn’t know unless they get a brain scan done.

Broken Bones

This one probably doesn’t surprise you. When the crash happens, your leg could hit the seat in front of you, or your arm could hit the door of the car and cause a bone fracture.

Fractures are one of the easier fixes, but they can still require multiple surgeries and physical therapy to completely heal.

Soft Tissue Injuries

With all of the strains and sprains that go on with motor vehicle crash, you can have a tear or a break as well. Muscle, ligament, and tendon damage can be difficult to fix and may require the complete rest of the part of your body involved.

Organ Damage

Whether it’s because of the seatbelt or something that hit you in the stomach, you can have organ damage due to a motor vehicle crash. While the kidney, spleen, and liver are the most often damaged, other organs can take a hit if the crash is serious enough.

What a Neurologist Does

Neurologists do more than look at brains. They study disorders of the entire nervous system, which includes your brain, spine, and all of your nerves.

As with any specialty, neurologists have extensive schooling and training in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions. Neurologists perform a number of diagnostic tests, including EMG and NCV nerve conduction testing.

Neurologists manage patients who have problems with coordination, muscle weakness, loss in sensation, confusion, and dizziness. They handle issues pertaining to the five senses (touch, vision, smell, hearing, and taste) as well.

Neurologists handle chronic illnesses having to do with the nervous system as well. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • multiple sclerosis
  • encephalitis, meningitis, brain abscesses, and other nervous system infections
  • myasthenia gravis and other neuromuscular disorders
  • stroke and mini-stroke
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders
  • headaches and migraines
  • spinal cord disorders

Neurologists are well-trained in performing several procedures to detect or resolve issues with the nervous system, but you may be wondering what these professionals have to do with caring for you after a car accident.

How a Neurologist Can Help After an Auto Accident

Neurologists will be able to help with a variety of issues that you may face after you’ve gotten into a motor vehicle crash. After getting your initial post-crash examination from an urgent care doctor or an emergency physician, you may be referred to a neurologist if you have concerning symptoms.

However, you will usually be advised to wait a few days before seeing a neurologist just in case your symptoms are due to a muscle cramp or something more minor. You will be given emergency services at that moment if your physician believes that you need them.

Neurologists will be able to help if you have any weakness or numbness following the crash as well as if you have injuries having to do with your brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

When to See a Neurologist

After the crash, you may have neck pain or other problems for days. Sleeping seems impossible and your symptoms are not getting any better.

The question is whether it is time to go see your neurologist or not.

There are a few symptoms and signs that you should be alarmed by if you notice. If you do happen to have any of the following, it is definitely time to call your neurologist:

  • generalized or focal weakness
  • focal numbness
  • tingling sensations
  • bladder incontinence or retention
  • bowel incontinence or retention
  • involuntary spasming or twitching
  • vision changes (double vision, loss of vision, and related issues)

This list is not complete, but it does show the most common and most important changes that you should make note of. These symptoms should warrant a call to your neurologist.

If you’re not sure if your symptoms are fit for care by a neurologist, you can call your primary care physician for guidance. However, any symptoms or problems having to do with the nervous system and/or the five senses can be evaluated by a board-certified neurologist.

Finding a Neurologist in New York

When to see a neurologist may be a difficult call to make, but we’re sure that you’d rather see a neurologist and be fine than end up with brain damage from a missed bleed.

If you are having any concerning symptoms like those discussed above after you’ve had a car crash in New York, make an appointment with a board-certified neurologist.

Feel free to call (800)-897-8440 to request an appointment over the phone or ask any questions that you may still have about how seeing a neurologist after an accident can help you get well.

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