Auto Accident Symptoms

Auto Accident Symptoms


Auto Accident Chiropractor Madison, WI

Auto Accident Symptoms Following a Motor Vehicle Accident are not always apparent initially. You could experience a wide variety of symptoms or nothing at all. Sometimes, you may not have any injuries at all. Sometimes you may not have much for outward symptoms, but something serious could be wrong. Each person in an accident will respond differently as we are all unique and no two accidents are the same.

Some symptoms you may experience are:

  • Cuts
  • Abrasions
  • Broken bones
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dizziness/ Vertigo
  • Upper back pain
  • Arm pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Middle back pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Jaw pain/ clicking
  • Lower back pain
  • Wrist/ Hand pain
  • Numbness
  • Chest/ Rib pain
  • Hip/Leg pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sciatica
  • Knee pain
  • Loss of sleep
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Ankle/Foot pain
  • Tingling
  • Stiffness
  • Hard to concentrate

If you have any of these symptoms, then you should get examined immediately to determine how severe the problem is, how to fix it and if it was related to the accident. The longer you wait, the more scar tissue may form, the longer your recovery could take, or your condition may deteriorate into a life threatening emergency. Remember, the five most dangerous words: “Maybe it will go away.” If it doesn’t and becomes permanent, what are you going to tell yourself later in life as to why you never bothered to get checked out?

Treatment Following an Accident:

In my years of experience, I would say that most people know enough to go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room if they are cut, bleeding or if they have a broken bone. However, there are other things you should think about.


What most people forget to do is take pictures of their injuries. Why is this important, because if questions should arise later about your injuries, it is far better to have pictures and not need them, than to need them and discover that you never took any. Get pictures of you and the car.

Ice or Heat

I have seen may highly educated doctors drop the ball here, even emergency rooms. My advice is never use heat on a new injury. If your doctor told you to use heat instead of ice, you may want to call them and clarify it after reading this. From a legal standpoint, I do not want to interfere with your doctor’s care and treatment, so always follow their advice, but ask questions and if what they say does not make sense, then ask them to explain further. When you sprain a ligament or stain a muscle, you create tears in the tissue. These will fill with fluid and create swelling. (Sometime the swelling is deep in the muscle and you do not actually see it.) Heat causes fluid to expand, so putting heat on a fresh injury like this will cause the swelling to increase and that swelling will tear the tissues further apart causing more damage.

You can not go wrong with ice unless you are putting it over an area with frostbite, on an area with loss of sensation or numbness, or on an area of poor circulation (diabetic patients often have circulatory issues and should consult a doctor before use). Use caution with ice to prevent frost bite. Seek the advice of a doctor if you have any questions at all. Heat is very beneficial after the swelling is gone. It will dilate the blood vessels and increase the circulation to the area. This will bring more oxygen to the tissues and promote faster healing. Remember, however, that heat will usually feel good as it stimulates the nerve endings on the skin, but the real test is 30-60 minutes later. If the pain starts to get worse, then you used heat too soon and should go back to icing. Do not use over areas of poor circulation, infection, or cancer.

Always consult your doctor to make sure you are doing the right thing for your individual condition.


Following any traumatic injury, your body will need rest to recover. Many people feel tired as their body is using more energy to heal and has less energy for other activities.


Many times after an accident, a doctor may use a soft or hard cervical collar to give your muscles a rest and chance to heal. Use caution however. The longer you wear a brace or support, the more your body will become dependant on it. When someone has a cast removed, they usually notice that the arm or leg is smaller than the other side because the muscles atrophied due to lack of use. Braces can be good in the short term but you should be careful to get out of them as soon as possible.


One of the first considerations after an accident should be to get into see a Chiropractor as soon as possible. More and more people are finding Chiropractic to be their favorite type of health care. As the population continues to become more and more aware of the side effects of drugs, people are looking for a good alternative. They realize that their pain is not the result of a hydrocodone or Tylonal deficiency. There has never been a doctor (I hope) that told someone that their blood work came back and showed that they were low on pain killers and if he can just get some back into his system, he will be healthy again. A Chiropractor will be able to do a thorough examination and even take x-rays if needed. He will then go over his findings, explain what is wrong and where and how he can help (or refer to another doctor if necessary). The Chiropractor will make sure your bones and joints are aligned properly for a good recovery. Exercise and Physical Therapy are important, but so is alignment. (You wouldn’t want your Orthopedist to put a broken leg into a cast without “setting” it first so that it aligns properly, or you may not be able to use it later). Selection of a good Chiropractor is also important. Not all Chiropractors do both Chiropractic and Physical Therapy. You could see one of each, or find one that does both, so that you only have to travel to one clinic. Additionally, you want to find a Chiropractor that has seen a lot of accident patients, because experience matters.


Often people turn to over the counter pain killers to help treat their pain. They should be careful however to make sure that they are not masking the pain while something more serious is going on or covering up the pain so much that they over do it and make their injury worse. Pain killers can be useful to get you through a rough spot in your recovery while you are getting other treatment, but they should not be used as a treatment alone. Medical doctors can prescribe stronger pain killers, but remember, they will have more significant side effects and may make you unable to do things like drive or operate heavy machinery. Never “borrow” someone else’s prescription…that is a felony.

Physical Therapy:

Physical Therapy comes in many forms. Most are very helpful if done properly for the appropriate injury. Options include: Ice, Heat, Traction, Massage (there are many types), Electric Muscle Stimulation, Ultrasound, Exercises, Stretches and even Cold Laser. You should work with your doctor to find out which will be appropriate for your condition. Some people ask whether to do physical therapy or chiropratic. We offer both at the same location for your convenience, to save you time and reduce your cost.


On rare occasions, surgery may be necessary to stop bleeding, repair damaged tissue or organs in order to save a life. Sometimes, surgery may be required to stabilize an area that is not healing correctly, to surgically fuse bones or to repair herniated discs or other neurological issues.