Dizziness After a Car Accident
It is common for patients to experience dizziness after a car accident. When there is a collision, a car may stop instantly while an individual may continue to move. When that momentum is stopped, it can result in injuries to the head and neck. Injuries sustained as a result of these collisions are typically viewed as a whiplash injury, but may affect areas of the brain controlling balance, coordination and spatial awareness. The regions of the head and neck are very sensitive. Accordingly, when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion it can cause sprains and strains in the neck and misalign the vertebrae. When damage occurs to the head and neck regions, it may disrupt the part of the brain controlling sense of balance and spatial recognition. Symptoms of whiplash injury include feeling lightheaded, having spatial awareness issues, experiencing dizziness or vertigo, and suffering from headaches or migraines. There are four major causes of dizziness after a car accident including cervicogenic dizziness, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vascular damage and brain injury.
Cervicogenic dizziness, commonly referred to as vertigo, can occur after a car accident. Vertigo is typically caused by damage to the neck region. Vertigo causes a sensation making it feel like you or the room are spinning. An individual’s spinal column consists of several nerves which tell the brain the body’s location. These nerves, known as proprioceptors, allow for individuals to navigate in the dark or with their eyes shut. These nerves are also integral to the body’s ability to maintain balance. When the neck region is injured, these proprioceptors can be damaged and the data that they send to the brain can be disrupted. Accordingly, dizziness is a common condition that can result from vertigo after a car accident.
Another type of vertigo, called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), can also cause an individual to experience dizziness after a car accident. BPPV typically occurs after a violent movement of the head, common in many car accidents. The inner ear contains tiny calcium crystals known as otoliths. Otoliths move against nerve endings in the inner ear, and are responsible for telling the brain the position of the head. When the head is violently jerked, these crystals can be moved from their normal location to other parts of the inner ear. Therefore, when they send signals to the brain they do not make sense and cause confusion in postural control system, as well as dizziness. Individuals suffering from BPPV typically report vertigo that occurs with certain neck and head movements.
Vascular damage is yet another possible cause for dizziness after a car accident. When the blood vessels in the neck are injured, it can result in restricted blood flow to the brain. Often, this injury is felt as pain in the back of the head that can grow stronger with time. This pain can be felt on either side of the head, or even in the middle, and can be felt as either an aching pain, a rise in pressure, or a throbbing sensation. Vascular damage is an incredibly serious medical condition that should be treated immediately.
Another common reason for dizziness after a car accident is brain injury. If a head strikes something during the collision, or if the impact of the collision was severe, it is not uncommon for an individual to suffer a mild traumatic brain injury. Individuals suffering from a brain injury may report fogginess, confusion, dizziness, or memory loss. It is important for individuals who experience any of these symptoms to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident.
West Coast Wellness is here to help if you are suffering from dizziness after a car accident. Dr. Barr, an auto injury doctor who has dedicated his career to eliminating pain for his patients, can provide you with chiropractic and medical treatment for relief from pain caused by accident injuries. At West Coast Wellness, you will find state-of-the-art equipment and therapy that can fix your pain fast, allowing you to return to your job, sports, hobbies and life faster. Call West Coast Wellness to get the answer for your pain condition at (941) 210-3969.
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