Did you know that it can actually take hours or even days for you to experience symptoms from a car accident injury? These are known as delayed injuries and can happen when the adrenaline coursing through your body actually ends up masking your pain after a stressful event like a car accident. Getting in a car accident can leave you overwhelmed with all of the phone calls you need to make with insurance, auto repair shops, and more. Once you have time to sit down and rest after the car accident, the pain and discomfort are more likely to settle in. That’s why you should always see a car accident chiropractor as soon as possible after you’ve been in a wreck, even if you didn’t experience pain or other symptoms right away.
Common Delayed Injuries and Their Symptoms
Here are 6 of the most common delayed injuries you may experience after a car accident.
One of the most common experiences after a car accident is back pain. The force of impact can cause your body to get jostled around or shaken up, putting stress and strain on your spine and supporting soft tissues. Back pain may be caused by strained back muscles or by injury to the spine. Spinal injuries can affect your body’s healthy functioning and disrupt the brain’s communication with the nerves in your body.
Neck pain is also common after a car accident. While your seat belt is designed to protect you from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash, it cannot completely prevent you from being injured. The seat belt also does not restrain your head and neck from getting jolted around during the collision. Your neck may feel sore and stiff after a car accident. If you also develop trouble turning your head in certain directions due to stiffness, then you may also have a whiplash injury.
A whiplash injury involves the head and neck, but it can also cause pain and other symptoms in your upper back, shoulders, and arms. Whiplash is most common in rear-end collisions where the sudden force of impact between two vehicles causes your head to snap forward and backward violently. This causes the neck muscles to strain outside their normal range of motion and can cause inflammation and tearing. Whiplash can also damage the spinal column and lead to other issues like a herniated disc or a pinched nerve.
The spinal discs that separate each vertebra in the spine help to absorb shock and reduce general wear-and-tear on the body. A sudden injury can cause a spinal disc to herniate, which means the hard, outer shell of the disc cracks or tears, and the soft, jelly-like inside seeps out. This can affect the functioning of the spinal disc and cause two vertebrae to rub together. The herniated disc can also put pressure on nearby nerves and cause a pinched nerve.
A pinched nerve refers to a nerve ending that has been compressed or is under a significant amount of pressure. Acute car accident injuries can disrupt the healthy alignment of bones and joints, which can then pressure or pinch nearby nerves. Inflammation around an injured area can also cause swelling and encroach on nearby nerves. Pinched nerves cause pain that can feel like shooting or stabbing into the extremities. Other symptoms include tingling, a pins and needles sensation, numbness, and weakness.
Headaches are also common in the hours and days after a car accident. As your body starts to experience pain due to injuries, headaches may be one of those symptoms. Headaches can also be a sign of something more serious that needs to be addressed, like a traumatic brain injury. Concussion symptoms can slowly develop but should be treated as soon as possible.
Treatment for Delayed Injuries After a Car Accident
Visit Affordable Chiropractic in Killeen for safe and effective chiropractic treatment for delayed injuries after a car accident. Chiropractors utilize all-natural and drug-free approaches to managing your pain and treating your injuries. We offer decompression therapy and active rehab as needed to fully support your customized treatment plan for your car accident injury. Don’t hesitate to visit a car accident chiropractor as soon as possible after you’ve been in an accident.