Why Pain Sustained After an Auto Accident Is Often Delayed
A car accident only takes a matter of seconds, but your body can experience a significant amount of trauma even in this short amount of time. There’s a reason why you have delayed pain after an auto accident, so it’s essential to get medical attention, even if you don’t have signs of injury.
At Reid Physicians Group in Jacksonville, Florida, we understand the impact a car accident can have on your body. We combine integrative medicine, chiropractic, and rehabilitative care to help restore your health and well-being.
When you’re in an auto accident, your body tries to protect you from the trauma by releasing a sudden surge of adrenaline. This hormone is designed to protect you from harm by causing the “fight or flight” response when you’re in danger.
Adrenaline causes several self-preservation responses, including:
At the same time, your body releases endorphins that make you feel calm and in total control. Your endorphins also affect the way you respond to pain and stress. In many cases, you don’t start feeling pain after a car accident until your adrenaline and endorphins wear off, and you can relax.
In addition to having adrenaline masking your symptoms after an auto accident, it can also take time for injuries to appear while your body settles back down after the trauma.
When you ride in a car, your body moves at the same rate of speed as your vehicle. During an impact, your car stops, but your body continues moving until it suddenly stops because of a seatbelt, airbag, or another barrier. This abrupt change in momentum often causes soft tissue damage, like what occurs with whiplash. These types of ligament or muscle strains take time to develop because inflammation, swelling, and stiffness don’t occur immediately.
You can also experience trauma to your spine during an auto accident that affects your intervertebral discs. These discs act as cushions between vertebral bones and give your spine flexibility. When you damage a disc, it can tear, bulge, or herniate. Over time, these injuries can put pressure on nerves and the surrounding tissues, causing pain.
Common delayed symptoms after a car accident may include:
Getting an early diagnosis of a car accident injury can help speed up your recovery and reduce your risks of long-term pain and complications in the future. If you’ve had a car accident, call us at Reid Physicians Group or schedule an appointment online today.