Car Accidents & Chronic Pain

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A car accident can happen so quickly that you don’t even see the other car coming. Though some injuries are easily recognized on the spot like a broken bone or a strained back, the symptoms of other injuries may not occur for several hours. For example, it can take up to a full day for symptoms of whiplash to appear. Car accidents can also lead to chronic pain, which lasts for an extended period of time after that accident. Some of the more common injuries that may occur include nerve damage, concussion, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and a herniated disk.

Types of Chronic Pain

Even after giving your body time to heal after an accident, you may still suffer from pain that lasts for months or even years after that accident. A broken bone may ache because arthritis sets in after you have surgery. Both nerve damage and a herniated disk can cause debilitating pain that prevents you from going to work, spending time with your kids or even getting out of bed. Compression of that disk or that nerve group can increase your pain, which makes it hard for you to stay in the same position for very long. Traumatic brain injuries can even impact your short and long term memory.
Pain Triggers

There is a chance that you may experience little to no pain on most days until you encounter some type of trigger. A trigger is a person, object or even place that takes you back to the scene of the accident and causes your pain to increase. If someone rear ended you at a stop light, you might feel a twinge in your back when sitting at a stop light months later that causes your back pain to increase dramatically by the time you get home. A psychologist or psychiatrist can often help you learn how to cope with those triggers.
Treatments for Chronic Pain

After a car accident, there are various treatments you can try for your chronic pain. Anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers and painkillers are among the top prescription drugs used to treat chronic pain. Doctors may also recommend a steroid injection to help health and strengthen the injured joint, tissue or muscle. You may also find some relief through the use of heating pads, cold packs, regular exercise or even meditation. Talk with a doctor about the best treatments for your chronic pain.