It's not uncommon to feel okay after a minor car accident, even if you've sustained an injury. Your stress levels shoot up from the adrenaline pumping through your body, which is why your pain may not show up until a few days or weeks after your accident.
Dr. Jason Ablett and the Pinnacle Health Chiropractic team are pain experts, especially after a car accident. Dr. Ablett is an experienced chiropractor who gets to the root of your pain and provides customized treatments.
Common injuries after a car accident
During a car accident, your body goes through a lot, including direct trauma. Whether you're the driver or passenger, you're at risk for various injuries from a car accident, including the following:
- Chest injuries
- Cuts or scrapes
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injuries
The type of injury you suffer depends on your speed during the accident, where you're sitting, and if you wore a seatbelt. Another factor is whether or not the airbag deploys in your car.
Whiplash is another prevalent injury during a car accident. A whiplash injury happens when your neck moves quickly back and forth, causing an injury to the muscles and tendons. The result is pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in your neck.
With the proper treatment plan, whiplash goes away within a few weeks. Appropriate treatment includes home care and expert chiropractic care from Dr. Ablett.
Why is your pain delayed after an accident?
During a stressful situation such as a car accident, your body goes into survival mode. Your fight-or-flight response is your body's natural defense against danger.
When your body senses mental or physical stress, it releases hormones from your sympathetic nervous system. These hormones then stimulate your adrenal glands, which release catecholamines.
Catecholamines then raise your blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate to keep your body in shape during stressful situations. Once your body recognizes the threat is gone, your vital signs return to normal.
Your fight-or-flight response is why you may not feel pain right after a car accident. It gears your body up for extreme stress, essentially putting you into survival mode. Even after the response stops, you may still not feel the effects of your accident.
The fight-or-flight response won't cover up apparent injuries, though. For example, if you suffer a broken bone or head injury during a car accident, you may feel some pain initially that can get worse in the next few days.
When to seek professional treatment
Pain can strike anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks after your car accident. When it arises, it may be mild, moderate, or severe.
You can usually manage mild to moderate pain with home interventions. You can use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to ease your discomfort and reduce swelling.
Ice and heat are also appropriate interventions to help your pain. Use ice for the first few days, then add heat, alternating between the two to stay comfortable while your body heals.
If your pain is severe or you've tried home interventions without relief, it's time to contact our team for an appointment. Dr. Ablett quickly evaluates your pain to determine the extent of your injuries.
Dr. Ablett provides a customized treatment plan to eliminate pain after a car accident. He offers several treatments, including manual chiropractic manipulation, to keep your bones, muscles, and other tissues healthy.
If you're involved in a car accident and have pain in your neck or back, call our office today to make a consultation or schedule an appointment online using the booking tool on our web page.