Should I Worry About Delayed Pain After an Auto Accident?

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A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, but its consequences can be life-changing. From whiplash to herniated discs and from concussion to internal bleeding, the type and severity of injuries you may sustain in the few moments between the start and end of a collision range exponentially. However, even in the case of the most extreme injuries, there is a strong chance that your symptoms may be delayed by hours, days, or weeks. It is essential that you understand why pain after a car accident is delayed, what symptoms you should watch for, and when you need to seek treatment from experienced car accident doctors.

Why Pain After a Car Accident Can Be Delayed

You hear about it all the time — people who are involved in seemingly catastrophic car accidents get up and walk away as if nothing happened. While some might be tempted to label these events “miracles,” it is more than likely that science has something to do with it.

When the body undergoes an intensely traumatizing event, such as a car accident, it tries to protect itself by releasing a surge of adrenaline. In addition to triggering the “flight or fight” response, adrenaline activates several self-preservation responses, including the following:

  • Pain inhibitors that reduce or eliminate the feeling of pain
  • Strength enhancement due to the increased blood flow going through the muscles
  • Energy surge
  • The dilation of blood vessels that increase the flow of oxygen
  • Vision and hearing changes

While in flight or fight mode, your body also releases endorphins. These feel-good hormones help you to feel calm and in total control during even the most stressful of times and, like the adrenaline, prevent you from feeling any pain for the time being. It is not until the adrenaline and endorphins subside that your body will begin to relax and truly feel the effects of the accident.

Delayed Symptoms To Look Out For After a Car Accident

No two accidents are the same, and no two persons will experience an accident in the same way. Because of this, it is difficult to tell what type of symptoms you will share following a crash. However, specific injuries, such as internal injuries, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and spinal injuries, tend to present themselves after the fact more often than others. 

Below are delayed symptoms of these and other common car accident injuries that you should not ignore:

  • Neck Pain: A classic symptom of whiplash, neck pain can develop days or weeks following a crash. It is also a symptom of herniated discs, spinal fractures, and other serious injuries.
  • Back Pain: Back pain can indicate any number of injuries, but almost all can be limiting if you do not seek treatment right away.
  • Headaches: Headaches can indicate any number of severe delayed injuries, including whiplash, concussion, blood clot, and neck injuries. When accompanied by nausea, you should treat headaches as a medical emergency.
  • Excessive Fatigue: While it is normal for car accident victims to experience low energy levels while their bodies heal, you may have a TBI if extreme fatigue persists or severely interferes with your daily routine.
  • Poor Concentration or Memory Loss: Cognitive issues following an accident may indicate a brain injury and should be reason enough to research accident injury doctors in New York and New Jersey.
  • Abdominal Pain: Muscle pain is expected after the accident, but if abdominal pain persists or grows more severe in the days following the accident, it may indicate internal bleeding.  

Anticipate Delayed Pain After a Car Accident

Because of the frequency with which car accident victims experience delayed pain, the best thing you can do for your future personal injury case is to anticipate delayed discomfort and seek a medical examination from one or more auto accident doctors near you. Contact Us Today! Medical providers in our directory accept no-fault, PIP, workers’ compensation, and most insurance plans. Call (888) 412-8488 to make an appointment for an accurate assessment from reputable car accident injury physicians in New York and New Jersey