Under the best circumstances, even a minor automobile accident is unsettling. Regardless of who’s at fault or how the accident occurs, it’s scary and likely to leave you shaken. Even if you feel okay in the immediate aftermath, it’s vital to book an appointment here at DMC Healthcare in Dallas as soon as you can.
An adrenaline rush is a real thing
You’ve probably heard the phrase “fight or flight,” which describes your body’s reaction to a situation your brain perceives as life-threatening. This instinctual reaction involves the area of your brain called the amygdala, which is where emotions are processed, and the hypothalamus, the command center of your nervous system.
The hypothalamus signals your body to release adrenaline, which causes your heart rate to increase and your airways to open, increasing the oxygen to your brain and enhancing your overall alertness. The fight or flight response can also dampen your perception of pain.
Survival instincts serve an important purpose, but in modern day society, they are sometimes a bit too easy to trigger. Some people live in a chronic state of stress, triggered by things like worries about work and family. It’s no surprise that a car accident has a high likelihood of putting your body on high alert.
When you’re dealing with a car accident, the pain-blunting aspect of the adrenaline rush can be a problem. In fact, you may have injuries that you’re unaware of because your body is prepared for flight. There are a few common injuries that may go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
Neck strain, which is often called whiplash, is a common injury in auto accidents. It happens when your head is jerked backward and forward abruptly. The muscles in your neck are over-extended and can cause the following symptoms:
- Stiffness and pain in your neck
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Numbness or pain in your arm
- Problems concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
It may take several hours or even a few days for the symptoms of neck strain to become apparent. Depending on the severity of your neck pain, Dr. Weddle may recommend ice and heat therapy, prescription medication, physical therapy, or a number of other treatments. Without proper treatment, you may have pain from whiplash for months.
You may have heard that a blow that can cause a concussion causes you to lose consciousness, but that’s not always true. You can have a concussion without realizing it, particularly if it’s sustained while your body is in the midst of a fight-or-flight response. Some of the symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Hearing a ringing sound
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Difficulty sleeping
You may also have bruising, pulled muscles in your back, sprains, or even fractures that you’re not aware of right away after a car wreck. It’s vital for you to allow Dr. Weddle to examine you so he can determine if you need treatment and help you understand what to expect in the next few days or weeks.
Don’t take chances with your health following an auto accident. To make sure you don’t have any hidden injuries, book an appointment at DMC Healthcare by phone or online as soon as you can.