When you’re involved in a car accident and hurt your back, pain is something that you would expect to happen almost immediately. However, there are times when the pain from the accident doesn’t present itself right away. In fact, some people don’t feel any pain until days or even months after the collision. Why does this happen? And what should you do if it happens to you? Read on to find out more about delayed back pain from car accidents and how a back pain chiropractor can help you recover.
What Causes Delayed Back Pain After A Car Accident?
When a person is injured in a car accident, the injury happens either from the impact of the crash or from a sudden jerking motion that creates a sudden strain on the back. Depending on the type of car accident, the impact may cause injuries to the lower back, the middle back, or the upper back. But car accident victims experience delayed back pain because the sudden rush of adrenaline puts the body in a fight or flight response. While adrenaline prepares the body to fight, we may experience an increase in energy, strength, and pain tolerance along with endorphins that make some feel calm and in control. This masks negative emotional and physical pain. Once the endorphins and adrenaline wear off, you may start feeling car accident back pain.
In other cases, grave injuries may force our body into an emotional or physical shock that can shut off nerve receptors, allowing you to keep on moving without feeling any damage.
How Long Before Back Injuries Appear After A Car Accident?
Some people experience delayed pain, while others don’t feel any pain at all. In fact, some people don’t experience any pain until days, weeks, or even months after soft tissue injuries occur. Once you start experiencing the symptoms of a soft tissue injury, you should always see a doctor. The only way to know for sure if you have a back injury is to see a doctor and get an examination and diagnosis.
Delayed back pain months after a car accident is most common in people who have whiplash. Whiplash happens when the head is jerked backwards and forwards violently. The sudden impact to the head causes the neck to suddenly snap forwards and back.
Whiplash takes a few days for the pain to start happening. When it does, it’s usually a dull ache that is worse when you move the neck or head. The pain will spread to other parts of the body. There may be headaches, dizziness, and neck or shoulder pain. The pain is usually mild and manageable, but it will worsen if it’s not treated.
Common Back Injuries From A Car Crash
Back injuries from car accidents can range from soft tissue injuries to complete spine misalignment or even fracture. Whiplash along with the other common back injuries from car accidents below can develop hours, days, to weeks after the crash:
- Herniated discs – A herniated disc is a common car accident back injury that happens when the soft gel-like center of a disc pushes out through a tear in the surrounding fibrous ring.
- Sprains – A car accident can cause a sprain in the ligaments that connect the bones of your spine together. Sprains can be graded from Grade I (mild) to Grade IV (severe). You can recover from a sprained back on your own or with help from a health professional. But sprains can take a long time to heal, and they can cause pain and weakness in your back for months.
- Strains – A strain happens when your muscles are pulled or torn. You can have a strain on any muscle in your body, including your back muscles. Strains are common after car accidents, especially if you are sitting in a cramped position for a long time.
- Back fractures – A car crash can cause a fracture in your vertebrae, the bones that make up your back. A fracture can be in the spinal bones or in the bones near your spine.
Other injuries also include spinal stenosis, degenerative disc diseases, and even chronic back pain over time. In some cases, the point of pain in your back hints at the type of injury you have. A tingling sensation and numbness in the back may indicate pinched nerves. Once the communication from our brain to the body is cut off, you may lose sensation in the area if not treated. Likewise, if you feel pain in the lower back, the pain usually points to disc damage. The best thing to do is to treat spinal injuries as early as possible to maintain bodily functions.
Seeking Care From Back Pain Chiropractors
Remember that a back injury from a car accident that is left untreated can lead to long-term pain. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with Affordable Chiropractic in Killeen today for a full evaluation and personalized treatment.
Our back pain chiropractors are specially trained to diagnose and treat car accident injuries from whiplash, and soft tissue damage, to spinal injuries. We can help speed up the healing process, get you out of pain faster, and help you prevent long-term back pain.