While the most common types of motor vehicle accident injuries involve pain in the neck, shoulders, hips, back, and knees, there are other types of injuries that are much less common. In fact, certain injuries may not even cause pain. Here are three types of motor vehicle injuries that are rare, and what you can do about them:
Many people who are involved in car accidents sustain whiplash injuries. The sudden force of the neck whipping back and forth and side to side can lead to extreme neck and shoulder pain. Whiplash can also cause inflammation or damage to the cranial nerves, such as the facial nerve.
When the facial nerve becomes irritated, it can cause burning sensations in the areas of the forehead, cheek, and chin. Although facial nerve inflammation and subsequent burning often resolve in a few weeks, it can take months or even years before you become completely symptom-free. In some cases, however, nerve damage may be permanent.
Certain natural remedies such as using cold compresses or taking B vitamins can help dampen nerve inflammation, while promoting healing. Talk to your doctor prior to taking B vitamins or any other nutritional supplements because they can interact with your medications.
Motor vehicle accident injuries to the neck or spinal cord can result in visual disturbances such as blurred or double vision, or even a complete loss of vision. Also, severe trauma to your upper body from a car accident can damage your retina or ocular nerve, resulting in eye problems.
If you develop any vision problems or severe eye pain after a motor vehicle accident, seek emergency medical care. You may have a detached retina, which needs prompt attention in order to reduce your risk for permanent vision loss.
Eye problems related to car accidents are often temporary, and are a result of intraocular swelling, which will eventually resolve. If the swelling inside your eye fails to subside, your doctor may prescribe steroid medication and refer you to an eye specialist.
Urinary, and sometimes bowel incontinence, can be the result of a car accident. Crushing injuries to the spinal cord or pelvis can damage the urinary tract and lower gastrointestinal system, leading to the involuntary escape of urine and stool. Incontinence is typically seen when the accident causes paralysis, but it can occur without it.
If you have no control over your bladder or bowel function after getting into a car accident, see your doctor right away to determine the cause and extent of your injuries. Often times, once your injuries have healed, your bladder and bowel function will return to normal.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and experience any of the above problems, see your health care provider or visit the nearest hospital emergency room. The sooner you are evaluated and treated, the more likely you are to enjoy a favorable outcome.