What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Often, the adrenaline rush makes injuries less apparent immediately after a car accident. You may feel fine at first, only to discover muscle strains, fractures, or other injuries as the adrenaline wears off. It’s best to get checked out even if you feel OK.

Delaying treatment, especially for head, neck, or internal injuries, can have serious consequences. At Hurt 911, we offer diagnostic services as well as chiropractic care and physical therapy. Contact us to schedule your appointment at our Atlanta injury center or one of our other locations in Georgia.


Bruising is common after a car accident, even from a minor fender bender. Your body gets tossed around and slammed into objects like the steering wheel, dashboard, or seatbelt, causing burst blood vessels under the skin.

The outcome is the occurrence of soft tissue injury referred to as bruises. These marks can manifest on any part of your body in regions that have experienced impact. They start looking red, then turn a nasty shade of purple or blue as blood pools under the skin. These bruises may spread over the following days and change color as your body reabsorbs the blood.


Headaches are commonly experienced after a car accident due to trauma from the impact. The force of your head jerking back and forth can strain your neck muscles, causing tension headaches. These headaches typically feel like a dull ache or pressure around your temples, back, head, and neck.

Whiplash, a neck strain from the whip-like motion of your head, can also trigger headaches. Whiplash headaches usually start within a few hours of the accident. Post-traumatic migraines can develop within a week of the accident.

Delayed pain after a car accident

Muscle Pain

Muscle pain is common after an accident and can persist for weeks or months. The sudden impact and jarring movement of your body during a collision can strain your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You may experience soreness, stiffness, or tightness in your:

  • Neck and shoulders. Whiplash is a frequent injury from rear-end collisions that causes neck pain and tension.
  • Back. The force of an impact can sprain the muscles in your back, causing an ache and limited mobility.
  • Torso. Your core muscles stabilize your body, and an accident can strain your chest, abdomen, and rib cage muscles.
  • Legs. Hitting the brake pedal suddenly before a crash or tensing up your legs can lead to sore hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.


The impact and sounds during a collision can damage the tiny hairs in your inner ear that detect sound vibrations. This often leads to tinnitus that sounds like ringing, buzzing, or roaring. The good news is this type of tinnitus from acoustic trauma typically lessens over time.

If your tinnitus does not start to subside within a few months or significantly impacts your quality of life, talk to your doctor about other treatment options, such as sound therapy, to help retrain your brain’s perception of the sounds. The most important thing is not to ignore your tinnitus.

Numbness or Tingling Sensations

The impact from a collision can irritate or compress your nerves, causing them to become inflamed. This inflammation leads to numb or prickly feelings. The nerves will typically heal over the course of a few days to a few weeks.

While waiting for numbness to subside, take extra caution using the affected area. You may have reduced sensation, making it easier to injure yourself without realizing it. During your healing process, you must avoid strenuous activity or exercise that could further irritate your nerves.

Reach Out to HURT 911 for Help Today!

Don’t wait to get the care you need after an accident. Call HURT 911 today at 855-475-2588 or 1-800-HURT911. You can also use our contact form. Our doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists are ready to get you on the road to recovery.

HURT 911 helps accident victims in Georgia avoid years of pain and unpaid bills. Our comprehensive, compassionate care gets you back to living life. Meanwhile, our car accident lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve.

You don’t need to worry about out-of-pocket costs because our doctors and staff are paid once your car accident case settles.