A car accident can be a jarring stressful event for anyone. Even if you don’t notice any obvious injuries, it is always smart to see a doctor. Of the various medical specialists you can consult, a neurologist will be among the best equipped in New York, NY to help you.
Always See a Neurologist After a Car Accident
Even if you don’t think you have neurological injuries, it is always smart to visit a doctor after a car accident in the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan, or Brooklyn, NY. Simply put, you may not realize you are injured right away. The sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can start recovering. According to Weill Cornell Medical College, you should seek out a neurological doctor or medical center within days of suffering a suspected concussion.
Furthermore, our doctors can diagnose other neurological disorders like movement disorders and multiple sclerosis.
You May Have Delayed Symptoms
Just because your symptoms don’t appear right away doesn’t mean that you weren’t injured in the car accident. Some symptoms, such as whiplash, are notorious for taking days or even weeks to appear.
There are several factors at play when it comes to delayed symptoms. Frequently, your body releases adrenaline and endorphins during and immediately after the accident. The release of these hormones can mask the pain. There is also the fact that your soft tissues can continue to swell for four to seven days following an accident. This means that your symptoms may worsen within this time frame.
Delayed symptoms can pose a few issues. To start, you may aggravate the injury if you don’t know it’s there. For example, maybe you’ll lift something heavy not realizing you have a serious injury. There’s also the issue of prompt diagnosis and treatment and the problem of insurance claims or potential lawsuits for injuries. Suppose you aren’t diagnosed by a neurologist after car accident. In that case, you may have trouble proving that the injury was from the accident.
The Sooner You Identify an Injury, the Sooner You Can Begin Treating It
As mentioned, one of the biggest reasons to see one of the neurologists in NYC as soon as you can after an accident is to have your injury diagnosed. The sooner you get a diagnosis from NY neurology specialists, the sooner you can start receiving appropriate treatment and feeling better. Wouldn’t it be great if you can start getting treatment before you even notice pain? That’s possible if you see the doctor right away and have delayed symptoms.
On top of that, quick treatment will reduce the risk of long-term injuries or disabilities. Depending on the severity and type of the injury, not getting immediate treatment could even lead to long-term disabilities.
Why Choose a Neurologist?
There are many different types of doctors that you may consider seeing after a car accident. Immediately after a collision, it is smart to have the paramedics check you and take you to the hospital if necessary.
But after this initial check-up, seeing a neurologist makes logical sense. That is because neurologists deal with the entire nervous system, including your spinal cord, central nervous system, and brain. Injuries to these areas are fairly common in car accidents. Additionally, your spinal cord sends signals throughout your body. That means that any injury to the spinal cord, especially an undiagnosed one, can pose severe issues to your health.
It is also important to note that a neurologist may notice things that your primary care doctor will miss. This is due to the neurologist’s specialized expertise and the fact that they see these injuries more often. As such, they are better equipped to spot the warning signs of nervous system issues.
Specific Symptoms that Indicate You Need to See a Neurologist
No matter your situation, you should always see a neurologist after car accidents in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, or the Bronx for a reason mentioned above – a quick diagnosis so you can get proper patient care and start getting treatment.
If you notice any of the symptoms below, you want to make an appointment with a New York City neurologist as soon as possible.
Some of the most common symptoms of neurological or other injuries following a car accident include the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Migraines or headaches
- Hypersensitivity to light
- Numbness, weakness, stinging, and tingling in one or more extremities (arms, legs, fingers, and toes)
- Loss of feeling in legs, arms, toes, or fingers
- Muscle spasms, twitching, or seizures
- Pain and soreness, particularly in the back, shoulders, or neck
- Pain that worsens when active
- Feeling confused, spaced-out, or disoriented
- Feeling dizzy or experiencing vertigo
- Balance issues
- Vomiting or nausea
- Drowsiness or trouble staying awake
- Sleep disorders
- Difficulties retaining or understanding information
- Memory loss
- Poor concentration
- Hard-to-understand or slurred speech
- Partial (or complete) paralysis
- Feeling anxious or irritated
- Frequent mood swings
- Changes to personality or behavior
- Severe anxiety in cars
- Humming noise or ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision or vision loss
- Changes in taste and smell
- Loss of bladder control
Remember that you don’t need to have any visible symptoms to have neurological damage from an accident. For example, spinal cord injuries can result from the impact of the vehicle crushing your body, even if it is not obvious just by looking at you. This is why visiting a neurologist and having diagnostic tests done are so important.
Take a closer look at some of the common symptoms that clearly indicate you need to visit a New York City neurologist.
You will notice several types of balance issues are on the above list of symptoms. From general balance symptoms to dizziness or vertigo, issues with balance may hint at a neurological problem. Look out for spinning, faintness, and dizziness that seems to have become regular following your car accident.
Bladder issues that appear after a car accident are a very strong indication that you have neurological damage. This is especially true if you weren’t obviously injured in your pelvic or torso area. Specifically, urinary incontinence is one of the common symptoms of a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Anytime a TBI is suspected, you need immediate medical care to stop symptoms in their tracks and help yourself heal.
Cognitive impairments can affect executive function, memory, attention, and more. The potential issues depend on the type of injury, with severe TBIs leading to the worst cognitive problems. Look out for issues like confusion or poor memory following a car accident.
If you’ve ever been bruised or worked out a little too hard, you know that your muscles can feel weak. The kind of muscle weakness you should be concerned about after a car accident is different. If you don’t see any obvious injuries but your limbs feel weak or you struggle to pick up objects, you may be suffering from neurological issues.
In the case of moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries and some other neurological injuries, you may notice impaired movement in the arms and legs. This could be from reduced neuronal input to the body’s motor areas.
Numbness and Tingling
Tingling and numbness are easily among the most common symptoms of neurological injuries after a car accident. When neurologists hear about numbness or tingling following trauma, nerve damage is one of the first things they suspect. In addition to numbness and tingling, you may feel a burning sensation.
Involuntary Spasms or Twitching
Like numbness and tingling, spasms and twitching can be an indication of damage to your nerves or brain. As a side note, remember that your body likely has some normal twitching, especially of your eyelids. If you are hyper-vigilant because of concerns about injuries, you may mistake this normal twitching as being unusual. Of course, it is always best to err on the side of caution, especially when a brain, spinal cord, or nerve injury is a possibility.
Everyone experiences at least the occasional headache, and you hopefully know what is normal for you to experience. If you notice unusually severe or frequent headaches, consider consulting a neurologist. This is especially important if the headaches are migraines. You will have to use your judgment and knowledge of your normal health to decide if the headaches are unusual.
Sleep disturbances can be a common result of traumatic neurological injuries. These can include periodic limb movement disorder, sleep apnea, parasomnia, and narcolepsy in the case of severe trauma. Sometimes, you may not be able to sleep because of the pain from your injuries. The lack of sleep can cause its own issues, including worsening pain, anxiety, or depression.
Spinal Cord Damage
If you even suspect spinal cord damage, you need treatment immediately. Spinal cord damage can cause serious, life-threatening health issues. Remember that your spinal cord features nerve fibers that send impulses to and from your brain. Injuries to the spinal cord can lead to disruptions in those messages. As a result, you may lose functionality in parts of your body. This can lead to everything from partial or full paralysis to bladder control issues.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Symptoms
A TBI will always require you to see a neurologist after car accidents occur. As a refresher, a traumatic brain injury occurs if your brain tissues are damaged to the point that their function is disrupted. Of the various symptoms already mentioned, some of those associated with TBIs include:
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Loss of concentration
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Severe head pain
- Poor memory recall
- Extreme fatigue or nausea
If you notice vision problems after a car accident in New York City, this could be from the collision. It is somewhat common for optic nerves to be damaged in car accidents. On top of that, blindness, blurriness, difficulty seeing out of an eye, or double vision can all be indications of hidden neurological damage.
Whiplash is incredibly common following car accidents. It occurs when your neck moves back and forth during a car accident. It is the result of too much or irregular force on the muscles and spine in your neck. Whiplash usually leads to pain, reduced mobility, and stiffness.
Lingering pain, whether or not it is associated with other symptoms, is also a sign you need to see a doctor of some sort. You can manage pain in the meantime with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) but you will need to get to the source of the injury. A neurologist can assess if the pain is from a neurological injury or if you’ve sustained other types of injuries that require treatment from a different specialist.
What Will Your Neurologist Diagnose?
Your doctor will likely conduct several different tests to diagnose your neurological injuries after an accident. The following are some of the most common diagnoses in this situation, although others are also possible:
- Neuropathy: This occurs when the smallest nerve fibers, called nerve twigs, in your peripheral nervous system are damaged. They may be crushed, compressed, or severed, leading to numbness, weakness, and pain.
- Radiculopathy: This is when the nerves that leave your spinal cord are compressed. It leads to pain, tingling, weakness, and numbness in your legs, arms, neck, and back.
- Soft tissue damage: This can include a range of damage to muscles on your back, neck, or spine. Common examples include whiplash, strains, and sprains.
- Spinal cord injury: This is when your spinal cord is damaged from the trauma of a car accident.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): This can lead to some serious long-term consequences and is something to be aware of. TBIs can cause long-term brain damage or even death. There are also MTBIs (mild traumatic brain injuries), which are less severe. These can still lead to symptoms lasting weeks or months.
Some other common neurological diagnoses that your neurologist may give you include:
- Cerebral concussions or contusions
- Fractures of the neck, skull, or spine
- Herniated, cracked, or slipped spinal discs
- Facet joint injuries
- Acute neck or back pain
- Neck lacerations or cuts
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal cord compression
Expect the diagnosis process to include a series of tests, such as nerve conduction tests (EMG, NCV), x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. The exact tests neurologists in NYC recommend will depend on your condition, symptoms, and potentially even the details of the car accident.
Why Choose Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C. After a Car Accident
At Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C., we pride ourselves on always putting our patients first. We do everything within our power to prevent long-term disability as well as permanent injury. Part of this involves diagnosing your issues as soon as possible so you can begin treatment from a board-certified neurologist and get complete neurological care from top local doctors.
Choosing to schedule an appointment with our neurologists in NYC will give you access to professionals with extensive experience. Our team has treated a range of neurological conditions from a variety of causes, including car accidents. While some neurologists specialize in certain areas like pediatric neurology or specific disorders, our team has the medical education and training for treating patients after accidents.
Our extensive experience makes us uniquely poised to spot the signs of various injuries. We have perfected the diagnostic process following a car accident and will be sure to check for every likely complication. This ability to diagnose you quickly and accurately helps ensure that you begin treatment as soon as possible.
As mentioned, prompt treatment is essential to maximizing your chances of a full recovery. But our experience improves your chances, as it guides our treatment to some extent. We have the clinical expertise on which treatment methods work best for situations and injuries. This gives us a starting point for your treatment, which we then customize.
To help deliver a quick diagnosis, we offer a free diagnostic evaluation for every patient. This comes in the form of a convenient telehealth video visit with our team. The main goal of this free evaluation is to help you better understand what to expect from diagnosis and treatment. We will educate you about your condition and the possible causes. We will tell you how we would confirm that diagnosis via testing and give you an idea of what the treatment may look like.
During the diagnostic stage, expect our neurologists to ask you questions about your symptoms, medical history, and the accident itself. We will also perform a physical evaluation and diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies.
From there, we use our experience and knowledge to come up with a treatment plan that best fits your diagnosis and symptoms. Every patient receives personalized treatment. Most diagnoses have several potential treatments, and the one that we suggest will depend on your situation. We may also suggest a combination of treatments, including visits with pain management specialists. In the rare case that you don’t see improvement with the initial treatment, we will adapt it or suggest an alternative to deliver the results you deserve.
Take Care of Your Health with Help from Neurodiagnostics Medical P.C.
If you were in a recent car accident and notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is essential to schedule an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have any symptoms yet, our neurologist will confirm that you don’t have hidden neurological damage from your accident or any other injuries that could cause long-term problems. With our expert diagnosis and treatment, you will be on the road to recovery in no time. When it comes to New York Neurology, associates at Neuro Injury Care have you covered. We accept no-fault insurance, workers’ compensation, PIP (personal injury protection), medical liens, and other insurance plans. Same-day appointments may be available, and new patients are welcomed.
Book your appointment today!