People involved in car crashes frequently feel dazed immediately following an accident.  Consequently, many believe they are uninjured.  Then, they experience significant neck or back pain a day or two, or even later, after an accident.  Why does this happen?  Why is there a delay in feeling pain, after an accident? There are many explanations for this delay in feeling pain.  This post will explore a few of the reasons.

First, when a person in involved in an car accident, whether as a driver or a passenger, the aftermath involves a lot of emotions.  Therefore, all of the emotions can distract the mind from the pain of injuries, causing a delay in feeling pain.

Why do people experience a delay in feeling pain after being involved in a car accident?

After a car accident, you wait for the police.  Also, you deal with the questions involving towing of a vehicle or getting a vehicle repaired.  In addition, you think about a replacement vehicle, how are you getting to work?  All of these issues were not a part of your life, moments before.   Our bodies create immunities designed to mask pain.  The brain releases adrenalin and endorphin as a defense mechanism in traumatic situations.   Consequently, once the chaos of the accident is over you have a chance to unwind from the drama.  At that point, the symptoms are felt.

Next, we discuss how soft tissue injuries occur.  A sudden movement of the head can lead a tear in muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues.  When one car hits another, thousands of pounds of force exerts upon the neck and spine.  Most importantly, the head, which is very heavy compared to the neck, thrusts toward the hitting vehicle.  Then, the muscles stretch and react with a violent spasm in the opposite direction. The painful result is injury to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves.  On occasion, the injury results in broken bones.  Injuries can happen at low as well as high speeds.  However, the symptoms may not appear for days or weeks as the body attempts to adapt painful symptoms.  Thus, the distractions may cause a delay in feeling pain.  Spasm is often associated with soft tissue injuries.

Spasm is the body’s natural attempt to protect injured areas or to limit mobility of injured parts of the neck or back.

The angle of the spine at the time of the impact plays a major role to determine the extent of the injury to the neck and back. Since most accidents provide almost no warning, there is little that can be done to minimize the extent of the injury.

Moreover, it is important that anyone involved in an accident monitor their symptoms closely.  Also, don’t minimize the injury and think “it will just go away on its own.”  These types of injuries can provide significant limitations in motion for months or years and can get worse over time.  If you experienced a delay in feeling pain, and now the pain is felt, make sure to not ignore it.  On our blog page, I discuss the importance of documenting everything after being injured in a car accident.

At the Dawson Law Firm, we can help you locate skilled medical professionals to help you get your injuries diagnosed and treated appropriately. We can then help you obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries, whether through settlement or trial.  Click here to schedule a free case consultation with the Dawson Law Firm.  Get the medical attention you need to get back to normal life.