Back Pain After a Car Accident
Lower back pain after a car accident is a common side effect of a collision, even at low speeds. However, immediately after a car accident you might not feel any symptoms or pain, and they might just show up a few hours or days later. Car accidents are always frightening, and your body might react in ways you wouldn’t expect.
One of the reactions your body has in a threatening situation is a fight or flight mode, where adrenaline comes rushing in to give you alertness and hiding pain or injury. So if you feel delayed neck pain after the accident it might have been present at the time of the accident, but covered up by adrenaline. Other responses you may feel due to adrenaline include:
- Increased energy
- Reduced or no pain
- Dilated blood vessels
- Increased strength
- Vision and hearing focusing
Seeing a doctor for car accident pain is best done right after the accident or as soon as possible so they can investigate if you have any injuries or not. The endorphins released after an accident that make you feel calm and reduce pain will start to wear off after a time, but doctors can use physical tests as well as scans and other diagnostic procedures to determine the extent of any injuries.
Who to See for Neck Pain After Car Accident
So what kind of doctors can help with car accident pain? Much of the time car accident injuries that are delayed are nerve related, since the endorphins suppress the nerves from expressing the pain signal. Neurologists and neurosurgeons specialize in dealing conditions of the nerves or brain like a herniated disc, or concussive symptoms. Getting diagnosed as early as possible by a specialist doctor can help reduce risks of any progression of symptoms and speed up recovery.
Neurosurgeons are specially trained to deal with nerve damage and spine related conditions that might result from a car accident. When an accident occurs the spine becomes compressed and could result in a herniated disc, which is when a disc in the spine bulges outward and presses on nerves in the spinal cord or the surrounding area. Neurosurgeons treat issues like this every day, and have specialized machines like an MRI to get a more exact diagnosis of the condition and level of damage. If you have any of the following symptoms you should consult with a doctor sooner rather than later:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Lack of Coordination
Treating Delayed Pain after an Injury
Dealing with an injury like a herniated disc will usually be approached conservatively at first. That means trying to apply medication, physical therapy or injections to see if the injury will heal without surgical intervention. However, if the injury isn’t going away after some time and the pain is persistent your doctor might consider surgery as an option. There are minimally invasive procedures for herniated discs like microdiscectomy or endoscopic operations that don’t require much cutting, or laser spine surgery which can be done without incisions at all. You’ll have to discuss your options with your doctor after diagnosis and a review of the possible solutions to your symptoms.