When you think of car accidents and the damage they can do to your body, you probably think about whiplash, broken bones, sprained ligaments and the like. Unless you’ve been fortunate enough to have never been involved in a car accident before, you probably know that they come with a risk of physical injury. However, there are other effects of car accidents that are less talked about but can be just as painful and debilitating as broken bones or cuts. These include chronic pain and post-collision anxiety. If you’re reading this right now because you suffered these kinds of after-effects from an accident recently, we hope it will help make things easier for you going forward. Knowledge is power after all.
What is Post-Collision Anxiety?
Post-collision anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that affects people who have been in car accidents. It is often mistaken for post-traumatic stress disorder, but they are two distinct conditions that require different treatments. PTSD is also known as “trauma” and can result from being exposed to any kind of traumatic event. Post-collision anxiety can affect people who have never been in a car accident before and is brought about by the physical and psychological effects of a minor collision. Post-collision anxiety is common among people who have been in minor collisions. People with post-collision anxiety may experience symptoms such as extreme worry about being in another accident, constant monitoring of their surroundings, difficulty concentrating, and an increased heart rate when driving. These symptoms often persist even after the initial anxiety and shock has worn off. While it’s important not to minimize the trauma of being in a serious accident, post-collision anxiety is often overlooked because the symptoms aren’t as evident as they are in a person with PTSD.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months and can’t be treated with drugs or surgery. It can be caused by an injury to the body, such as a car accident, surgery, or an accident at work. It can also be the result of a medical condition, like endometriosis, arthritis, or fibromyalgia. People who suffer from chronic pain often have trouble doing their daily activities, sleeping, and maintaining relationships. Although chronic pain affects people of all ages, it is most often seen in older adults. The type of pain that results from a car accident is called “trauma-induced pain”. This can result in a whole range of symptoms, including muscle spasms, joint pain, and headaches. It can also cause changes in the way your nervous system functions. These changes can result in hypersensitivity in some areas of your body and hyposensitivity in others. This can cause you to feel chronic pain in areas that you wouldn’t expect, like your abdomen, headaches, or even in your teeth.
How Can a Minor Collision Cause This Kind of Injury?
Injuries resulting from a car accident are often much more serious than people think. Minor collisions can cause long-term pain and anxiety that lasts long after the initial shock has worn off. Here’s how it works: When you’re involved in an accident, your brain releases a chemical called cortisol. This is a normal response to stress and is meant to help keep you calm and focused so you can react to the situation. However, when someone is in a minor collision and their cortisol levels spike, their bodies don’t produce a full release of it. This means that the chemical stays in their system for longer than it should and prevents other chemicals from working properly. When this happens, your brain gets knocked out of whack. It’s like being in a car accident on your own body. You’re psychologically and emotionally stressed out, you feel a sense of panic, and you can’t concentrate fully on your day-to-day tasks or responsibilities. You also can’t shake the effects of the accident as easily as someone who was in a serious collision.
How to Treat Your Anxiety and Chronic Pain After an Accident
When you’re recovering from a car accident, you may experience symptoms of post-collision anxiety and chronic pain. You don’t have to suffer any longer than you have to, though! There are lots of ways to manage these conditions and get back to living your normal life again. The first thing you should do is contact a psychologist and a pain management specialist. These professionals can use techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and guided imagery to help you manage your stress and pain levels. You should also make sure you’re getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of exercise so that you have enough energy to make it through the day. Finally, you should make sure you’re getting as much support from family and friends as you can. They can help you feel less isolated and remind you that you’re not alone in this.
Post-collision anxiety and chronic pain are conditions that can affect anyone, regardless of how long they’ve been driving and how many accidents they’ve been in. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of all the symptoms and how they can affect you, even if they’re not as visible as a broken bone or a sprained ligament. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from any of these conditions, we encourage you to seek professional help. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there are so many ways to get help and live a full, happy life.