How Long Can Stomach Pain Last After an Accident?
If you are experiencing stomach pain after a car accident it can mean that you have an internal injury or bleeding. Internal soft tissue injuries are the main cause of stomach pain, and the pain can last for hours or even days after an accident. Be warned, that stomach pain after an accident requires immediate medical treatment.
Our team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills discusses what causes stomach pain after an accident and how long this pain can last.
Common Causes of Abdominal Pain after a Car Accident
Stomach and abdominal pain can be caused by several things, some of which aren’t obvious.
Common causes of stomach pain after an accident include:
Injuries from Seat Belts or Airbags
Seat belts and airbags can cause stomach pain after an accident due to the force of an accident. These safety features are designed to protect you from severe injury but can still cause injuries depending on the force and speed of the accident.
Seat belts can constrict so tightly that they cause bruising, and airbags can cause internal injuries due to being deployed so forcefully.
It may surprise you that whiplash can cause stomach pain after an accident; it is a neck and spine-related injury after all.
While numbness, headaches, concussions, and other head injuries are the most common symptoms of whiplash, the jerking motion that occurs during an accident can also cause bruising and damage to the internal organs and blood vessels including the intestines and stomach.
Blunt Force Trauma
Blunt force trauma is an injury caused by a hard blow to the body. While it’s most serious when it results in a traumatic brain injury, it can also happen to the stomach if an object hits the abdominal area with extreme force. An open wound or cut may be a side effect of this trauma, or there might just be bruising and damage to the blood vessels around the organs like the stomach or intestines.
Bowel obstructions that cause severe constipation or other digestion problems can also occur from blunt force trauma.
Organ compression occurs when the stomach or intestines are squished between two things, such as in an accident. If severe, it can cause lacerations to your internal organs and internal bleeding.
A car accident can cause abdominal bruising from impact with the hard surfaces inside a vehicle. A bruise is any damage to the soft tissues of the body that causes bleeding under the skin, meaning that you have ruptured blood vessels.
Bloating is swelling of the stomach or abdominal area. If you notice any bloating after an accident, it could be a sign of internal bleeding or other abdominal trauma caused by internal injuries such as ruptured organs.
If you notice any bloating following a car crash, seek medical attention immediately. Other symptoms that can indicate internal bleeding include nausea and vomiting.
Diarrhea of Gastrointestinal Distress
After a car accident, it is not uncommon to have diarrhea, gas, or other stomach issues. Though common, you should still visit a doctor to ensure that it isn’t something more serious like damage to the digestive tract.
How Long Does Stomach Pain Last?
Depending on the severity of the accident and your injuries, abdominal injuries may not start for days or even weeks after the crash.
Delayed symptoms aren’t just limited to the stomach either. You may experience delayed chest pain, back pain, hip pain, and more after an accident.
In certain instances where internal bruising occurs to your abdominal muscles or internal organs, it can take 1-2 weeks for these symptoms to manifest, as they take time to develop.
Injuries like surface bruising or bleeding will typically become apparent within 24-72 hours after an accident.
Recognizing the Signs of Abdominal Trauma
Along with bruising, bloating, pain, and gastrointestinal distress, you might experience other seemingly unrelated symptoms including:
- Fever: This can indicate you may have an infection due to internal injuries.
- Excessive fatigue: This may be a normal part of recovery or may indicate that you have a serious injury or infection.
- Back pain: May indicate an injured organ such as a kidney. Pain may also radiate to the hips, legs, and buttocks.
- Dizziness or fainting: If you are lightheaded, feel dizzy, or faint after an accident it could point to hidden internal bleeding.
If you have been in an accident and are suffering from stomach pain, don’t wait. Come visit our team of car crash physicians at Impact Medical Zephyrhills for comprehensive and compassionate post-accident care.
Walk in or call us today to schedule an appointment; (813) 706-5156!