Even minor car accidents have been known to cause significant trauma to the body.
Even after fender benders, most people can expect to experience soreness for a few days, even if they didn’t suffer severe injuries like broken bones that sent them to the emergency room.
Many people also ask themselves Do I need to call the police after a car wreck?
When the soreness appears, you want it to go away as soon as possible.
So, how long should you expect to be sore after a car accident?
When is it okay to expect a full recovery and have the ability to return to your regular activities?
The answer to that question will vary from person to person and depends on your body and the extent of your injuries.
In the article below, we will talk about how long you can expect to be sore after a car accident and what you can do to combat the soreness.
When Will the Soreness Fade Away?
Depending on the severity of your accident, a certain level of pain is normal because your body has just experienced significant trauma.
How long you experience soreness depends on several factors, including:
- Your position in the vehicle and whether you were wearing a seatbelt
- The speed of the crash
- The size of your car and the size of the other vehicles
- Whether your airbags went off
- Preexisting injuries
There is no concrete way to determine the extent of your injuries based on the level of pain you are experiencing, or how long you can expect to be sore based on your injuries.
Only a qualified medical professional can give you a logical estimate when you should experience relief.
Even what seems to be minor pain can be a significant issue, especially if left untreated.
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That’s why you should always seek medical attention after an accident.
What If My Pain Comes Out Of Nowhere?
It’s not uncommon to experience delayed pain after an accident.
Many people walk away from an accident without feeling a thing, but days later, they finally feel like they’ve been in a car accident.
Some injuries are notorious for delayed symptoms.
For example, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries typically won’t present symptoms until days after an accident.
If you skipped going to the doctor after your accident, and suddenly begin to feel sore, you need to see a doctor right away.
Just because it took the pain a few days to appear doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.
People often make the mistake of writing off significant symptoms as normal reactions to an accident.
After an accident, you should always keep track of any new symptoms and take them seriously.
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Neck pain might go away by itself, but neck pain accompanied by a fever may indicate a severe problem.
Any changes to your health after a car accident should be written down and reported to your doctor, even if it seems insignificant.
Ignoring symptoms and putting off treatment is never a good idea.
If you’re afraid you won’t be able to afford your medical bills and your accident was due to the negligence of another driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney for help.
Why Are We Sore After Car Accidents?
There are many reasons people experience pain after an accident, and some of the most common reasons are:
Strains and sprains
The impact of a car accident can force your body to move in unnatural ways.
When your body moves in positions it isn’t used to, it can strain the muscles and tendons in your body, leading to tears.
When a muscle or tendon is torn, the area becomes inflamed and may begin to hurt.
Most strains, sprains, and general muscle aches will heal on their own, but in more severe cases, you will need to see a doctor.
Whiplash is common in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions.
At the time of impact, your car stops moving, but your body doesn’t.
As your vehicle stops, your head and neck suddenly whip ahead and then backward.
This seems violent because it is. Whiplash can cause very severe injury to your neck, back, and shoulders.
In some cases, you could end up with bulging or herniated discs.
Soreness in your neck, back, and shoulders is very common and expected after a whiplash injury.
Traumatic brain injury
If you hit your head during the accident, there’s a good chance you’ll feel it the next day if you don’t feel it right away.
The pain may be a dull ache or a throbbing headache. Sometimes this can be extreme or sharp pain.
A traumatic brain injury is always serious and should always be treated as such.
But unfortunately, TBIs are prevalent, especially in auto accidents.
The CDC even estimates that car accidents cause 20% of all TBI hospitalizations.
If you experience any pain in the head or neck after an accident, see a doctor right away.
Spinal cord injuries
Auto accidents are also the number one cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S.
It’s normal to expect at least a little bit of back pain after an accident.
But back pain is usually a little different when it’s due to a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries cause extreme pain or severe pressure.
If you experience either of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
What Should I Do if I Am Sore After an Accident?
Humans are innately stubborn.
Most of the time, we’d rather tough it out than go to the doctor.
But after a car accident, you need to take your pain seriously, especially if you want to shorten your recovery time.
Pain is always a sign that something’s wrong.
Even if it’s just minor muscle soreness, there is no harm in visiting a doctor to check it out.
Even if you aren’t experiencing pain after your accident, you should still see a medical professional.
After an accident or other traumatic events, adrenaline has a way of masking pain.
And after you visit the doctor, be sure to follow their advice.
Ignoring the advice of your doctor puts you at risk of hurting yourself more.
And if you are in the middle of an insurance claim, the insurance adjuster is likely to claim that the bulk of your pain came from your actions after the accident, not the accident itself.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations, and stay up-to-date on any follow-up appointments.
And, if you are in the middle of an insurance claim, you should enlist the help of an accident lawyer.
Recover Faster With Chiropractic Care
If you’ve been in a car accident, no matter how sore you feel afterward, you should always be assessed by a doctor familiar with car accident injuries.
Many car accident injuries won’t produce immediate symptoms, and some may not show up until weeks or even months later.
Chiropractors are specifically trained to detect these hidden accident injuries.
Chiropractors perform orthopedic and neurological tests to assess soft tissue damage, structural damage, muscle strength, range of motion, and other injury signs that other medical practitioners may miss.
After a testing and a physical exam, if your chiropractor finds any injuries, they will devise a personalized treatment plan for you and your injuries.
Your treatment plan may include a series of chiropractic adjustments, sometimes accompanied by deep tissue massages or trigger point therapy.
These chiropractic adjustments are used to heal your injuries and restore the health of your spine and surrounding muscles and tissue.
After a car accident, you may feel pain for a very long time, especially if you don’t seek medical attention.
A visit to your chiropractor can straighten these issues out so that you’ll return to having full mobility and being free of pain.
Contact Advanced Injury Care Clinic
If you’ve recently been in a car accident and are considering a chiropractic assessment or adjustment, contact Advanced Injury Care Clinic today.
AICC has years of experience that allows us to treat car accident injuries and the symptoms that go along with them.
If you have been in a car accident, you need the help of a chiropractor.
If nothing else, your chiropractor will give you a clean bill of health and peace of mind.
But if you are injured, your chiropractor will help return you to health as quickly as possible, so you aren’t in pain any longer than you have to be.
And the best part of it is that AICC offers a free consultation to all first-time patients.
During your free consultation, our Nashville car accident chiropractor with AICC will determine if you have any injury, and the best course of treatment to take.
To schedule your free consultation with AICC and make sure your recovery time isn’t longer than it has to be, click the button below.