Your brain controls both everything you do and everything you feel. While your brain has the benefit of millions of neurons and nerves, it may occasionally fool you. This is particularly true after a serious or stressful event, such as a motor vehicle accident.
When it perceives a stressful event, your brain prepares your body to either fight or flee. This biological stress response, though, may mask injury symptoms. That is, due to your brain’s normal reaction to stress, you may not realize you have sustained even a serious injury until hours or days after a car accident.
The release of stress hormones
Your body produces different stress hormones, like adrenaline and epinephrine, to help you manage stressful situations. While these hormones increase alertness, mental acuity and blood flow, they also raise your pain threshold. Consequently, even if you suffer a serious and life-altering injury in a car crash, you may feel little or no pain.
The importance of medical care
While your body’s stress response may disguise pain and other injury symptoms, your brain probably cannot trick either modern diagnostic equipment or medical training. Put simply, until you ask a doctor to examine you thoroughly, you may not know whether you have sustained a serious injury in a car accident.
The nature of your recovery
Just as your brain may trick you in the aftermath of a car accident, it may also trouble you during your recovery process. To boost your chances of returning to your pre-injury condition, you should never ignore anxiety, depression or other psychological or emotional complications.
Once you understand recovery often requires addressing both physical and psychological injuries, you can reach out to the right specialists and other health care professionals.