Don’t mistake the pain you feel after slipping and falling on ice for just a little soreness. Unfortunately, it could indicate an injury much worse than you realize. If your injuries are more than minor bumps and bruises, no amount of rest, cold compresses, or over-the-counter painkillers will do enough to rehabilitate you. You must see a doctor to diagnose and treat your condition – before it gets worse.

Slip and fall accidents commonly cause serious damage, including:

  • Head injuries: Head injuries are particularly common in slip and fall accidents that involve ice and snow, in part because many victims walk with their hands in their pockets to keep them warm. When they lose their balance, they can’t even catch themselves or protect their heads with their hands. Statistically, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), accounting for more than 40 percent of all cases of these life-changing injuries.
  • Broken bones: Among the most common bones to break in a slip and fall accident on ice are arms and hips – both of which can dramatically alter your daily routine. Without the use of both arms, it can be difficult to dress and feed yourself, much less take care of anyone else or work at many occupations. A broken hip can prevent you from walking and standing normally, making it hard to get around at all. Broken bones typically require a trip to the hospital, and you may have to undergo surgery for doctors to set the bone so that it heals correctly. Recovery could take weeks or months – or up to a year, for hip surgeries.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Feeling back pain after a slip and fall? If that soreness doesn’t go away – or gets worse – you may have sustained a herniated disc, a sprain, a strain, or another type of irreversible soft tissue damage. Disabling pain can radiate throughout your body and make it difficult or impossible to perform certain movements. You could need physical therapy, epidural injections, powerful medications, or even surgery to relieve the pain, and you may still suffer lingering discomfort and restricted mobility for the rest of your life.

For any of these common injuries, or for the dozens of other possible conditions you could suffer as a result of slip and fall accident, you need medical care. Waiting to get treatment could mean allowing the condition to worsen or unintentionally putting even more stress on the wounded body part. Even if the injury begins to heal, it could heal incorrectly – meaning you will need more (and likely more painful) medical intervention to repair it. Putting off medical care can have another unintended consequence, too – it can hurt your chances of success in any personal injury claim. You have every reason to see a doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall, even if you think you’re fine. Your chance at recovery is just too important to risk.