Kenny Habetz Injury Law | March 3, 2023 | Car Accident
Neck and back pain are two of the most common ailments people report after a car accident, but what causes them? If you or a loved one have been in an accident and are experiencing chronic neck and lower back pain, learn what those symptoms could mean.
What To Watch for After a Collision
Some people think that they will feel pain immediately after a car wreck. However, the reality of the situation is that pain can take days or weeks to manifest. For example, some people think their chronic headaches are a symptom of stress when, in reality, they are a symptom of a spinal injury sustained during a car accident.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, it is best to see a doctor immediately. If you ascribe the pain to something else and leave it untreated, your condition could grow even more dire, especially if you have injured your neck or back.
By seeking medical treatment as soon as possible, you are giving yourself a fighting chance at making a full recovery.
Symptoms of Neck & Lower Back Injuries
If you have sustained a neck or back injury as the result of a car wreck, including whiplash, the symptoms can be immediate and delayed. To help you differentiate between the two, here is a list of each.
Immediate symptoms of neck and lower back damage include the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Immobility in fingers or toes
- Extreme pain in the neck or lower back
- Immediate headache
- Localized tingling and numbness
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Loss of bowel control
If you sustain a neck or back injury that is severe enough, the responding paramedics will likely send you to the hospital for further evaluation. However, this doesn’t always happen, so it is important to be vigilant and honest with yourself about the pain you are experiencing.
Delayed symptoms of a neck or lower back injury are more insidious.
They can include:
- Headaches that manifest days or weeks after the accident
- Tenderness, swelling, and bruising across various parts of the body
- Pinching pain in the shoulders, neck, or back
- Inability to lift light objects
- Intense tingling and numbness in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
- Vision and hearing problems
- Increased fear, anxiety, or depression
As you can see, many of these symptoms are easy to misdiagnose. That’s why it is important to seek medical attention immediately following an accident.
Causes of Delayed Pain
One of the reasons you might not experience pain right away is due to the adrenaline that is released into your body after an accident. Adrenaline increases your pain tolerance, so you might not notice any discomfort for a few days. By then, you might think the pain is due to something else.
Another reason is due to the time it takes for bruising and inflammation to kick in. As with adrenaline, it can take a few days for bruises and inflammation to show. By the time they do, you might not attribute them to your collision.
You Don’t Have To Live With Neck and Back Pain
If you have been in an accident that resulted in neck and back pain, you do not have to suffer in silence. By seeking medical help, you will be able to identify exactly what is wrong so that you can put your body on the path toward recovery.
The doctor will be able to provide helpful tips, including recommendations for exercise and nutrition that will facilitate faster healing.