If you’re involved in a car accident, chances are you’ve suffered some sort of neck injury. In the immediate aftermath, you may not feel anything and breathe a sigh of relief, thinking you’ve emerged unscathed. But a day or two later, you wake up with neck pain. Depending on your own health and the car accident impact itself, the pain may be moderate to severe.
How could you have gone from having no symptoms to waking up with neck pain that makes it difficult to even move your head? In the moments after an auto accident, we’re processing major stresses. Our bodies react by releasing a potent mix of nature’s own pain relievers, adrenaline and endorphins. Not only do these hormones make us hyper-alert right after a car accident, they work to numb pain as well.
In addition, because most whiplash or neck strain injuries affect the soft tissue in and around the neck, pain and swelling may not develop right away. It’s somewhat comparable to a person trying a new workout routine and not feeling the aftereffects until the next day, but on an even more intense level.
Don’t say you feel fine or turn down medical attention if you’ve been in a car accident. It’s too soon to tell the severity of your neck injury and there may be other injuries that haven’t manifested themselves yet either. In the end, your health and safety are the number one priority.
Often, people are scared and upset following an accident. All they want to do is exchange information and leave as quickly as possible. While that’s a perfectly normal reaction, it isn’t wise, especially if the impact was severe. Prompt medical attention can help reduce symptoms and speed your recovery along faster.
Whiplash can be a controversial diagnosis. Often it will not show up in medical tests such as X-rays or MRIs. That gives insurance adjustors an excuse to make a low settlement offer or flat out deny any claim. If you find yourself in that predicament, an experienced personal injury attorney can help make sure you receive the fair and just compensation you deserve.