car accident side effects
car accident side effects

What Are the Side Effects After a Car Accident?

Doctor David Jenkins Orlando Chiro

Written by: Dr. David Jenkins

Published: January 12th, 2021

When you get behind the wheel of a car, there is a good chance that you place safety first. Even though you wear your seatbelt, look both ways before you pull out, and never text and drive, not everyone takes safety as seriously as you.

Even a seemingly minor auto accident can lead to significant injuries. Therefore, it is important for you to be familiar with some of the common side effects of a car accident. What issues should you watch for and how should you handle that?

Neck Pain Is Incredibly Common

One of the most common issues that people experience while in a car accident is neck pain. When someone is involved in a car accident, their neck can snap from side-to-side rapidly. This can sprain a lot of the ligaments in the neck, including the upper cervical ligaments.


This is commonly referred to as whiplash. Whiplash can cause the neck to feel sore, stiff, and uncomfortable. Whiplash can also make it hard for people to drive a car, sleep at night, read a book, or talk on the phone.

Back Pain Is a Serious Issue

Another common issue that people experience following a car accident is back pain. Sometimes, back pain stems from something called paraspinal muscle tenderness. This refers to dull pain that usually shows up on the sides of the spinal column.

In other cases, people may suffer something called a herniated disc in a motor vehicle accident. A herniated disc takes place when someone’s torso snaps forward quickly, placing a lot of stress on the spinal column. This can lead to shooting pains that travel from the back down the legs, which is the hallmark sign of a herniated disc.

Some People Notice More Headaches

There are some cases where people notice more headaches following a motor vehicle accident. There are two common types of headaches that people experience following a car crash. Some people experience something called a tension headache, which develops when the muscles of the scalp are pulled tight. Most people describe a tension headache as a vice grabbing their head.


For those who regularly suffer from migraines, they may notice that migraines come with greater frequency and severity following a motor vehicle accident. Migraines cause people to be afraid of bright lights and loud noises in addition to suffering from nausea and vomiting. Many people describe a migraine headache as a pounding sensation on the inside of their head.

Lots of People Have Trouble Sleeping at Night

There are lots of people who have trouble falling asleep at night following a motor vehicle accident. There are two major reasons why people may have trouble sleeping after a car crash. The first reason is that people are suffering from migraine headaches, neck pain, and back pain that keep them awake at night. As a result, people wake up the next morning still feeling tired, irritable, and have trouble concentrating.

In other situations, people may have trouble falling asleep at night because they are suffering from emotional distress following a serious car crash. It is not unusual for people to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, after a car crash. Emotional distress can keep people awake at night following a motor vehicle collision.

Knee Pain Can Be Serious

There is a specific type of knee injury that is common in a motor vehicle accident. This is called dashboard knee and is a severe sprain of the posterior cruciate ligament, also known as the PCL.

knee pain

When someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident, the lower half of their body may fly forward on impact. If their knee strikes the bottom of the dashboard, the top of their knee will be forced backward while the lower leg continues forward. This can place a tremendous amount of stress on the PCL, spraining it or tearing it. Anyone who has swelling or pain in the knee following a motor vehicle accident may have this specific knee injury.

A Loss of Flexibility and Mobility

Finally, people who are involved in a motor vehicle accident may also notice a dramatic reduction in the flexibility or mobility of several joints. Even though people may feel fine following a motor vehicle accident, this is usually due to the adrenaline rush they experience in a stressful situation.

Ultimately, many people wake up the next day feeling stiff and sore in their shoulders, hips, knees, or back. The lactic acid build-up, scar tissue, and information can all cause people to feel stiff and sore. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know what they should do if they are experiencing these side effects and complications following a car accident.

Schedule an Appointment with an Auto Accident Doctor

Anyone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident needs to schedule an appointment with a trained auto accident doctor like Dr. Dave Jenkins at Seminole Chiropractic Center. The sooner these issues are addressed, the better the recovery process is going to proceed.

Even though many people feel physically fine following a motor vehicle accident, it is not unusual for people to feel worse the next day. Therefore, everyone should make sure they get ahead of their symptoms and reach out to Dr. Jenkins following a car accident.

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