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How Long Does Nerve Damage Last After a Car Accident?

Injured in a car accident? You likely know that car wrecks cause broken bones, spinal injuries, bruises, cuts, and more, but many people often don’t consider the nerve damage and pain that can occur following a collision. Here are some of the common injuries to look for, as well as when you can expect to feel relief from nerve damage after a car accident.

Common Car Accident Injuries That Can Cause Nerve Damage

Whether you were involved in a severe T-bone crash at high speed or a minor fender bender, there’s always a risk of nerve pain if you’ve suffered a car accident injury. Some of the most common car accident injuries that can result in nerve pain include:

  • Whiplash: One of the most common injuries you can sustain from a car wreck, whiplash is caused by neck trauma from your head jolting forward then back due to impact. While muscles and soft tissue are most often affected by whiplash injuries, it can also damage your nerves.
  • Spinal Impacts: If your back or spine is injured in a car accident, it can lead to pinched or compressed nerves that cause pain, tingling, or numbness. This form of injury is often called sciatica.
  • Secondary Injuries: Broken bones and internal injuries can damage nerves throughout the body following a car accident. Nerves may be stretched or squeezed from the impact, or they may even sever in an open wound.

Common Types of Nerve Damage, and When You’ll Feel Relief

Almost everyone has experienced nerve pain in their lifetime. It’s easy to pinch a nerve while playing sports or even by sleeping wrong. Following a car accident, though, your nerve pain may be more severe. There are three basic types of nerve damage, ranging in severity from least severe to most severe:

  • Neurapraxia: This is the mildest form of nerve damage, caused by stretched or compressed nerves. It typically resolves in a few days to a few months, and it can be treated with rest, ice, manual, and other simple remedies.
  • Axonotmesis: This more significant form of nerve damage consists of damage to the axons and their myelin sheath. Physical therapy is the typical treatment, and you can expect a full recovery within six months to one year.
  • Neurotmesis: The most severe form of nerve damage, neurotmesis occurs when a nerve is fully severed, usually from violent, open injuries. Immediate surgical intervention can improve outcomes, but complete recovery from this type of nerve damage is often unlikely.

Treatment for Nerve Pain at Impact Medical Group of Lutz

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are feeling the lingering effects of nerve damage, the best thing you can do is to be evaluated and treated as quickly as possible. Not only does this lessen the risk of permanent damage, but it also helps you get out of pain and back to your daily life faster. The team at Impact Medical Group of Lutz is here to help! Call us today at (813) 536-0373 to schedule your free consultation and get on the road to recovery.