If you fall because you slipped or tripped over something, that’s never a good thing. However, you can pick yourself up and determine you’re more or less okay. If so, you might breathe a sigh of relief since falls can severely injure you.
The real problem is that sometimes, you genuinely believe the fall didn’t injure you, but then later, it turns out you hurt yourself worse than you thought. There are a few signs that you should particularly look for after a fall that can indicate you’ve injured yourself more seriously than you first believed. Let’s look at a few of those signs right now.
Soft Tissue Damage
If you fall and hurt yourself, soft tissue damage is always possible. The term soft tissue damage covers a wide range of body parts since soft tissue is all over your body.
Soft tissues include ligaments, tendons, and muscles rather than bones. When you get up after falling, you might test your various limbs, and at first, they may all seem to be more or less okay.
Later, though, you might experience pain in one part of the body, along with swelling or extensive bruising. You might feel weakness in a limb, or your range of motion will no longer be what it once was.
One of your joints might feel unstable. You may no longer be able to put weight on an injured limb, such as one of your legs. You might notice a prominent lump somewhere.
If you notice any of this, you’ll need to have a doctor check you out. You can probably start with your regular doctor, but they might refer you to a specialist who can run some tests.
Many times, it’s very obvious when you break a bone. It’s quite painful, and it’s evident something is seriously wrong. That’s not always the case, though.
Hairline fractures might take a little time to reveal themselves. Also, your adrenaline might pump after a fall, and you may not realize at that moment that you’ve injured yourself worse than you imagined.
Later on, if you can’t put weight on an injured limb, that could indicate a fracture. If a limb appears deformed compared to how it usually looks, you might have broken it. If you have swelling or bruising that gets worse over time instead of better, that could mean a break as well.
Also, if you experience severe pain coming from one of your bones, that’s usually the biggest giveaway. Just realize that it may take a while for that pain to present itself.
If you fall over and strike your head on the ground or against some other object, a concussion is definitely possible. Concussions can be a little tricky because you might feel okay at first. It’s only after a bit of time has elapsed that you’ll start to realize something isn’t quite right.
You might experience nausea or vomit. Your vision might be blurry. You may feel inordinately tired or drowsy.
You may have a headache that does not go away on its own. You also might experience tinnitus, or a persistent ringing in your ears.
If you think you may have sustained a concussion, it’s vital that you let a doctor check you out rather than going to sleep. Concussion symptoms usually present themselves soon after the event, but sometimes, it takes hours or even days before you realize how badly you injured yourself.
Internal Injuries from falls are also possible. They can threaten your life in extreme cases. If you think you might have one, you need immediate medical attention.
You may notice a bit of blood in your stool or urine. You may suddenly feel weak or unsteady on your feet. Severe bruising can be a possible warning sign.
You might not be able to catch your breath or feel faint. You may also have abdominal pain that keeps getting worse.
Again, the best thing to do is get to a hospital as soon as possible if you start to experience these symptoms. It’s better to have a doctor check you out to eliminate the worst possibilities.
Some people make the mistake of thinking they can tough it out after a fall, which can be a mistake. It’s one thing to want to play through pain, but it’s another if you fall and then start exhibiting any of these troubling symptoms not long afterward.
GUEST WRITER: Susan Malony is an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast. Follow her at https://twitter.com/sumelony