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Why Pain Sustained During an Auto Collision is Often Delayed

Why Pain Sustained During an Auto Collision is Often Delayed

In the jarring aftermath of an automobile collision, you feel both instant relief and impending dread. You dust off particles of glass, collect your shaken consciousness, and experience the pain-relieving surge of adrenaline. 

You do a quick self-assessment and breathe a sigh of relief when you realize you’re okay. But those first moments after the crash can be deceptive.

Understanding this under-discussed phenomenon is critical for car accident survivors. Dr. Dinash Yanamadula at Princeton Pain & Spine Institute in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, specializes in diagnosing and treating all kinds of pain, including issues sustained in car accidents.

He can help you prepare for the unseen and understand what to expect when you encounter the invisible enemy — delayed pain.

The gap between shock and symptoms

Why does your body — which usually tells you exactly when and where pain occurs — delay its cries for help after a car crash? The answer lies in the anatomy of pain perception and the body’s protective mechanisms post-accident.

The physiology of delayed pain

After a traumatic event like a car accident, your body experiences an influx of stress hormones, which initiates a fight-or-flight response. The hormones suppress pain messages as an act of self-preservation, which is beneficial in immediate emergencies but can mislead you once the adrenaline subsides.

Traumatic events can incite a complex mix of emotions — from shock and denial to coping and the eventual aftermath of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The initial psychological response might also veil growing discomfort, diverting focus from the body’s whispers of pain.

Delayed physical and emotional problems

When you have delayed pain, the physical and emotional dividends can be disconcerting. What might have begun as a minor discomfort morphs into a life-altering battle fraught with challenges far beyond the initial recovery process.

The physical toll

Delayed pain can range from inconspicuous to incapacitating. Headaches, neck pain, and back pain are traditional gateways to a labyrinth of potential issues — whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, or even more severe conditions often remain undiagnosed immediately after a collision.

The emotional toll

Navigating through these hidden obstacles can compound emotional distress. The delay in healing not only jeopardizes your mental well-being but also adds layers of stress that can impede recovery, turning what would have been an acute pain episode into a chronic manifestation of the accident.

How to battle delayed pain after an accident

Whether your diagnosis comes days or weeks after the incident, the path to recovery begins with seeking professional guidance. Dr. Yanamadula’s help and early intervention could mean the difference between temporary discomfort and long-term suffering.

The urgency of medical intervention

Seeing a medical professional immediately after a car crash is nonnegotiable. Early intervention through diagnostics such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans can pinpoint the source of your pain and underpin an effective treatment strategy, avoiding the pitfalls of self-diagnosis.

Post-accident pain treatments

Treatment options are as diverse as the injuries they address. 

Dr. Yanamadula is board-certified in pain management and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He takes a multidisciplinary approach to your personalized care plan. 

Dr. Christine Savela provides targeted physical therapy to improve joint function, strengthen supporting muscles, and help your injuries heal. 

An auto collision isn’t simply a one-time event — it’s an unfolding saga with new chapters that present their own challenges and triumphs. The key is not to be a passive recipient of these trials but to become an active participant in shaping the narratives of your recovery. 

It may be delayed, but pain post-accident needn’t blindside you.

Teaming up with Dr. Yanamadula and Dr. Savela can keep pain at bay and help you stay ahead of delayed responses. If you’ve been in a car crash, call Princeton Pain & Spine Institute for a thorough evaluation or request an appointment online. 

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