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Brain and spine injuries can share the same symptoms

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2019 | Firm News

After a car accident, people in Kentucky often have a surge of adrenaline that masks their injuries. So, as they deal with the aftermath, they may claim that they are fine in order to reassure the other people involved, as well as family and friends.

In the next few hours, days and weeks, victims of motor vehicle crashes often begin to experience symptoms of injuries, though, and these can be severe if a medical professional does not diagnose them and provide treatment right away. Spine and brain injuries are among the most common with delayed symptoms.


The Mayo Clinic explains that when the head is thrown forward in a collision and then it snaps backward from the force, that whipping motion typically causes whiplash. In addition to pain, stiffness and numbness in the neck, back, shoulders and arms, whiplash can also cause these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems and fatigue
  • Mood issues such as irritability or depression
  • Sensory problems such as blurred vision and ringing ears
  • Memory and concentration problems

Although whiplash typically improves within a few weeks, some people develop chronic pain and never fully recover.

Traumatic brain injury

Whiplash and TBI are often present at the same time because the whipping motion that damages the spine also sends the brain crashing into the skull. This can bruise tissues and tear blood vessels, leading to bleeding and swelling.

Whiplash and TBI share many of the same symptoms. The Mayo Clinic warns that if a person has any interruption of consciousness, however brief, it could indicate a concussion. However, concussions do not always cause people to lose consciousness, and other symptoms may not show up for days:

  • Sensitivity to sounds and light
  • Personality changes
  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Loss of coordination
  • Vertigo

It is a good idea to seek medical attention after any car wreck just to make sure that there are no signs of brain and spinal damage that have not yet begun to develop symptoms.