Auto Accident: 4 Delayed Symptoms NOT To Ignore!

delayed symptoms auto injuryIn most instances, people quickly realize they are injured after an auto accident. Cuts, broken bones and other types of injury usually present with quick clear symptoms as well as pain. Some, however, don’t experience immediate signs of an injury; especially if it to muscles, joints, ligaments or nerves. In many of these instances there is an adrenaline rush and the person may not feel the injury until it wears off.

If you are one of the lucky ones and walk away from a traffic accident seemingly without a scratch, it is crucial that you still get examined by a Chiropractic Physician. It is important that you pay attention to any delayed symptoms that can develop. Some serious injuries do not develop symptoms for a few hour or even days after the collision.


Truly, you should see a Chiropractic Physician immediately after an accident. Even if you are not experiencing major symptoms, there are injuries that produce specific findings that the chiropractor is trained to notice. The longer the delay, the greater the chance of a prolonged recovery time.

Additionally, the greater the time from the collision to the injury reporting can create problems with the insurance company. Some insurance carries see this delay in treatment as someone who is exaggerating or making up the symptoms. The greater the time period, the more challenging it is to prove that the collision was the cause of the injury.


If it has been a few hours or even days and you wonder if the symptoms are related to your accident, you should still consult your Chiropractic Physician. Some delayed symptoms you should NEVER ignore:

  • 1. Headaches or dizziness

The slow, progressive development of headaches or dizziness can be a sign of a concussion, post traumatic brain injury, or injury to the small joints of the neck.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to hit your head to suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury. If your head is shaken or whipped quickly on top of your neck, it can cause the brain to be shaken inside the skull. This will then cause the tissue of the brain to leak fluid and begin to swell. In many instances, headache is the first symptom you may experience. Careful examination by a qualified Chiropractic Physician is required to determine if you have a concussion or your headache is from your neck.

  • 2. Back Pain

Delayed pain in the back can be due to a herniated disc, injury to the muscles, ligaments or joints of the spine. When these structures are injured, it may take a few hours or days for the swelling and inflammation to build up enough that it starts to trigger the pain cycle.

  • 3. Shoulder pain

Pain in the shoulder can be due to a pinched nerve in the neck, injury to the muscles of the upper back or actual injury to the shoulder joint itself. Impingement syndromes and rotator cuff injury is common after collisions, mostly due to the pressure of the shoulder belt across the shoulder.

  • 4. Tingling or numbness

Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs after a collision can point to a possible herniated disc in the neck or low back. Left untreated, this can cause severe pain or disability. Prompt attention by a qualified Chiropractic Physician can help to diagnosis the cause and determine an appropriate treatment.

As you can tell, delayed symptoms from an auto collision can be due to significant injury. Waiting too long to get checked out can result in a longer recovery time and increased hassles with the insurance company. Seeking care from a Chiropractic Physician that is trained and experienced in treating auto injury victims is an important step to your recovery, documentation of your injury and even potentially your financial recovery.

As a 1984 graduate of Life Chiropractic College, Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. He has extensive training and study in how the injury happens as well as the specific treatments and documentation to help his patients. He has a great working relationship with many attorneys in the St Louis area and is known for his detailed notes and diagnosis of the injured patient.

Call our office today at (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT