If you walked away from a recent car accident seemingly unscathed, you might be one of the lucky ones. Or, your body’s biochemical reaction to danger could be protecting you from the pain of actual injuries. You may have heard about car accident adrenaline, but how does it actually work? Which injuries have delayed symptoms? When is it time to look for chiropractic services in Salt Lake City? These questions and more are answered below.
How Do Our Bodies Respond to Danger in an Auto Accident?
When you get into a situation that you find mentally or physically stressful or frightening, your body releases hormones that activate your sympathetic nervous system. This stimulates your adrenal glands, which release chemicals, including adrenaline. The adrenaline gives you the strength to either fight off the source of danger, or make a quick run for it — hence the term “fight or flight response.”
Although neither fighting nor fleeing are particularly useful or viable options in a car accident, the adrenaline prepares you to respond to a crisis in other ways, such as increasing your levels of awareness and helping you react to danger. Adrenaline and other chemicals released into your body in a car accident help to reallocate your body’s energy and resources. Your heart rate will increase in order to get more oxygen to your muscles more quickly, and your digestion will slow down so that that energy can be used for warding off or escaping danger.
In addition to adrenaline, the stress and fear of an auto accident can trigger the release of endorphins, which is how your brain helps you cope with trauma, pain, and stress. Between adrenaline and endorphins, pain caused by a car crash is sometimes dulled and delayed. Until your body’s physiological response fades, you may feel no pain at all.
What Types of Injuries Are Usually Delayed After a Car Accident?
Auto accident injuries that have delayed symptoms usually involve the spine, back, neck, and head. When you’re in a car that makes a very sudden stop, such as a collision, this can cause soft tissue damage that causes pain later on as your muscles and ligaments become inflamed, swollen, or stiff over time. This is what causes whiplash.
Car accidents can also cause spinal injuries that you may not feel until later on. For example, a car accident can affect your intervertebral discs, which are supposed to cushion your vertebrae and support flexibility in the spine. Over time, this can cause damage to your discs, putting pressure on nearby nerves.
When Should You Look for a Chiropractor in Utah?
An early diagnosis is the best and fastest way to recover from an auto accident. Even if your pain seems minor, or even absent, you may want to consult a car accident chiropractor in Salt Lake City before the pain appears or worsens. Peterson Chiropractic takes a natural, holistic approach to prevention and treatment, so you can quickly and safely recover from a car accident while avoiding invasive surgeries.