Your body is an amazing piece of bioengineering that can handle many extremes of life. The fight-or-flight response that occurs after a perceived threat provides a surge of resources for you to draw upon when your life is in danger. While you may not consider a fender bender all that dangerous, any car accident is a potential cause of injury.
But due to your body’s automatic response, these injuries may not be immediately obvious. Stress hormones released at the time of a collision can hide damage caused by the tremendous forces released during the accident. Though the injury occurs during the collision, the onset of pain symptoms may be delayed for hours, days, or weeks.
No matter how minor you think the collision is, a visit to Watson Chiropractic after your accident is a smart move.
The fight-or-flight response
Often called an adrenaline rush, the body’s response after an auto accident causes a release of hormones. This chemical surge helps you cope better with sudden unexpected circumstances. It’s the same feeling you may experience on a roller coaster or other theme park ride.
The physical effects you may feel include:
- Tunnel vision and tunnel hearing, blocking out your perceptions to the sides
- Sudden bursts of energy
- Increased heart rate and respiration
- Suppressed perceptions of pain
These effects result from adrenaline and endorphins coursing through your body. Once the accident has passed and there’s no sense of danger, you feel the effects of these hormones passing.
You may feel weak, due to falling blood sugar levels, as well as a lowering of heart rate and blood pressure, which can cause fainting. You may also experience a sudden crush of intense emotion.
How hormones cover injury and pain
Endorphins are the feel-good hormone in your body, so their release into your system gives you a natural painkiller, the effects of which tend to linger. That’s a big reason why you can experience a substantial injury and yet be completely unaware of it at the time of the accident and in its immediate aftermath.
You may feel fine and function normally after a collision, but soft tissue damage that you’re unaware of could be injured further while you’re feeling the endorphin effect.
Visiting a chiropractor after an accident
Medical emergencies such as bleeding and broken bones are obvious and treated immediately. There are, however, many other injuries that have no visible or functional effects in the moments following the collision. Whiplash is perhaps the most common, a collection of soft tissue injuries resulting from the forces of a car accident whipping your head and straining your neck and shoulders.
Your lower back can also suffer from transferred forces, but even when whiplash and back pain are manageable, chiropractic care can help restore alignment and balance to your body, improving blood flow and allowing the natural healing systems of your body to work more efficiently.
If you are in pain, chiropractic adjustments can often provide immediate relief, as well as set you up for quick healing.
Your dependence on pain-relief medication may also be reduced, and there’s nothing invasive about chiropractic care. Prompt attention, even before you feel the effects of the accident, can often prevent long-term, down-the-road pain.
So even if you’re not feeling substantial pain, and even if it was only a minor collision, a quick visit to any Watson Chiropractic location is a smart choice. Call us for an appointment or book online today.