Every year 50 million people are injured in car accidents. These injuries vary from minor to very severe. As every injury and every person involved in these accidents are different, there is no sure way of telling how much time the recovery will take after the accident. The good news is that with proper care the recovery process can be sped up. We collected the best tips to help with car accident recovery.
Get yourself checked with a doctor
Injuries from a car accident can be minor and can also be very severe. Some injuries are easy to diagnose (bruises, broken bones) while others are much harder. That’s why it is really important to see a medical professional after the accident. While things might seem fine, you can have some injuries that are hard to detect:
Concussions are common injuries amongst those who were in a car accident. They are usually a result of a blow to the head. In a car accident, it can be caused by hitting the windshield or the steering wheel.
The most common symptoms of a concussion are:
- Blurry vision
Some symptoms can appear even days later, such as:
- Memory complaints
- Light sensitivity
- Sleep disturbances
- Problems with tasting and smelling
While the treatment for a mild concussion is rest and cutting back on physical activities if you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident be sure to see a doctor.
Whiplash is another really common car accident injury. It is the injury of the neck, caused by a fast, forceful back and forth movement of the neck.
Symptoms of whiplash can include the following:
- Neck pain
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Headaches, starting at the base of the skull
As with a concussion, there are some symptoms that can appear later on:
- Concentration and memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident be sure to see a doctor. It is important to get a proper diagnosis (as some of the symptoms here can also be caused by a concussion for example) to rule out more serious injuries.
3. Internal bleeding
Both external and internal bleeding can be caused by a car accident. External bleeding is easy to notice: it is a type of injury when blood leaves the body through a wound. Internal bleeding, however, is when the bleeding occurs inside your body. It is much harder to diagnose, but it can be just as life-threatening as some of the external injuries.
The symptoms of internal bleeding can include the following:
- Passing out
- Bloody vomit and urine
- Loss of vision
- Slurred speech
- Low blood pressure
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Shortness of breath
As internal bleeding can be life-threatening if you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident seek immediate medical attention.
Car accident recovery time
Different injuries have different recovery times. Some of them take only a few weeks to heal, some may take months. We collected some of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents and their recovery time.
1. Concussion: Most of the time concussion recovery takes 7 to 14 days if the doctor’s orders for recovery are followed well.
2. Whiplash: The recovery time of whiplash depends on the seriousness of the injury. Usually, in mild cases, it’s only a few days, but with more serious injuries it can take up to 3 months.
3. Broken ribs: The recovery time for broken ribs is around 6 weeks. This is only true if you take good care of your injured ribs. This means avoiding sport, heavy lifting, and any other activities that can harm your ribs.
4. Broken arms and wrist: It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks for a broken arm or wrist to heal, but the process can be longer if the damage was more severe.
5. Broken legs: Recovering from a broken leg depends on a lot of factors. The first one is the location of the broken bone. There are different bones in your leg and depending on which one broke the recovery time is different. The type of fracture also has a great impact on the recovery. And lastly age, other injuries, and underlying conditions such as diabetes, obesity can prolong the recovery process. Taking all this into account a broken leg’s recovery time can range from weeks to several months.
6. Spinal cord injury: Spinal cord injury is one of the really serious injuries that car accidents cause. The first signs of recovery can start days or weeks after the accident. The recovery process for spinal cord injury is really long, there are cases when people regain functionalities after 18 months. Sadly, a lot of people suffer from permanent loss of functions after a spinal cord injury and are never able to fully recover from it.
Recovery tips for bedridden patients
Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you might have to stay in bed for a while as part of the car accident recovery process. The length of this period is largely dependent on the injury type, it can range from a few days to months. A lot of people have trouble adjusting to this state, so we gathered some useful information to help with this period.
It is really important to keep your mental and physical health while being tied to the bed. One of the most effective ways is exercise. We collected possible exercises for bedridden patients. However, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting these exercises.
Another aspect of recovery is to try to avoid additional injuries while being bedridden. One of the most common complications is the development of pressure ulcers. While the above-mentioned exercises certainly help with bedsore prevention it doesn’t hurt to take an extra step.
We created a gel, dermolex that helps in the process. The gel formulation is rapidly absorbed and will not stain the clothes or the bed linen as it does not contain any colorings or fragrances. It contains carefully selected herbal ingredients, which help the skin stay refreshed. You can read more about the usage and reviews of doctors and patients here.
As mentioned in the beginning, while physical well-being is really important to maintain during the bedridden period, another aspect to consider is mental well-being. A list of activities that can help with this:
- Keeping a journal
- Staying in contact (usually digital) with friends and family
- Therapy: we will talk about this part in detail later on in the article
Mental recovery after a car accident
While so far we focused mostly on the physical symptoms and recovery processes of a car accident, mental health is just as important.
Most people involved in a car accident experience some of these feelings in the days following the accident:
These feelings are perfectly normal after a car accident. In most cases, they tend to fade away days or weeks after the accident. In some cases however, they tend to get stronger over time and start to have a negative effect on normal daily life.
If these feelings won’t go away and just get stronger over time that can be a sign of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Additional signs of PTSD include the following:
- Negative feelings and mood
- Anxiety in traffic
- Nightmares, troubles sleeping
- Irritability, worry
- Thoughts and memories about the accident which can’t be controlled
If you experience any of these symptoms after the accident it is highly recommended to reach out to a therapist who will be able to help with the diagnosis and treatment process of PTSD.
More car accident recovery tips
One of the most important pieces of advice we can give on car accident recovery is to follow the instructions given by doctors. There are some other useful tips that can help with the recovery process.
Rest as much as you can. The body needs time to recover. While resting, the body can focus on recovery.
Eat well and stay hydrated. Make sure that the foods you eat are rich in vitamins and proteins. Staying hydrated throughout the day will also help in the recovery.
Once you start feeling better it is important to get back to exercising. First, start alone and with something easy to see how your body reacts. After you are feeling more confident you can gradually get back to your regular routine.
Car accidents can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health. That’s why it is extremely important to take the car accident recovery process seriously.
The process starts with identifying the injuries you suffered, as some might not be obvious or wouldn’t show right after the accidents. Once you know these you can start the recovery process with the recommended treatment.