Pain After a Car Accident
Orange County, CA
Pain after a car accident may be mild or more severe and may begin immediately or take days to weeks or longer to fully emerge.
What Happens to Your Body During a Car Accident?
A car crash is a very traumatic event. Even slow speed crashes that leave little vehicle damage, causes a great deal of energy to be transmitted to your body. Upon impact your body will feel as it is being jolted or thrown towards the striking vehicle. The jolt or jerk is extremely quick and sudden. When your body twists and turns so quickly due to the crash, your muscles and ligaments ability to protect your spine is exceeded and they become damaged.
What Becomes Injured After a Car Accident?
The sudden impact of a car wreck causes damage to the following tissues:
- Joint cartilage
Where is My Car Accident Pain Coming from?
Each tissue that becomes injured has a particular pain pattern or sensation
Muscles usually exhibit injury by a burning, cramping, spasming or grabbing pain usually on movement.
Ligaments are often the cause of sharp pains or deep burning pain within a joint at rest and on movement. If your ligament is badly damaged you may feel a popping, clicking or clunking on movement.
Disc pain comes in two varieties; if the disc itself is torn or damaged it will cause a deep ache around the midline of the spine near the site of the injury. If the disc is damaged and becomes herniated (an inner gel substance pokes out) it can irritate nerves causing numbness, tingling, sharp shooting pain, electric shock sensations, burning into an arm/hand or leg/foot. Neck discs cause arm/hand pain. Low back discs cause leg/foot pain.
Joint cartilage can be damaged when joints suddenly collide together due to force. The pain is commonly an ache, burn or poking sensation when the joint is compressed. If you bend your neck backwards and sideways simultaneously and you feel pain poking into the shoulder blade or upper back, then it is likely you have a damaged joint.
Brain injuries can cause wide ranging symptoms, the most common are headache, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, lack of mental clarity, anger, sadness, forgetfulness and more
Nerves can be irritated by disc herniations or your nerves can be injured by being stretched or compressed by excessive motion of the spine. Nerve pain is electric, shooting, burning, tingling or you may have areas where you feel nothing at all, numbness.
Bones can be fractured in an auto accident due to the extreme forces involved. You could have a fracture and not have extreme pain. Bone pain is mostly deep aching, burning, boring in nature.
Pain Intensity Has Nothing to Do With Injury Severity
Some people experience very little pain despite the fact that they have suffered ligament damage or a concussion. Others feel severe pain, but show very little actual tissue damage. Pain is an individual experience; no two people experience it the same way. Your pain is yours only and you should not compare yours to others, even people who may have been in the same car as you. What matters is that you explain and describe your pain clearly and completely so your doctor will be able to determine what tissues are damaged and perform the appropriate examinations and tests. It is only through a competent, specialized exam and imaging studies can the severity of your injury be found.