If you’ve ever over-exerted yourself or been in an auto or work injury, you may find that you don’t feel much pain until you wake up the next morning. The muscles in your neck can be so painful and tender that you can’t even turn your head. This type of delayed pain is caused by your body’s reaction to trauma, and it’s very common after a neck injury caused by an auto collision.
In a crash, your head and torso are violently pulled in two different directions. Your head remains stationary but your body is shoved forward by the car seat. This difference in motion puts tremendous strain on the tissues of your neck and spine.
Your spine is held together with an elaborate network of ligaments and tendons that keep your spine stable and flexible. During a car crash, these tissues are stretched and can experience small micro-lesions. Right after the crash, you might not feel immediate pain, as these tissues don’t have much in the way of blood supply or nerve endings.
But after a few hours, your body is alerted to the small micro-tears and begins the healing process. The injured area is inundated with extra blood, white blood cells, and chemicals that remove damaged tissue and begin the work of repair.
Because of the extra fluid and activity, the area becomes warm, sore, swollen, and tense, and this is why your neck is stiff the next morning.
Inflammation is a healthy process that has evolved over millions of years, and it works well in repairing an injury. The problem is that the healing process often results in scar tissue, and scar tissue can result in chronic pain.
Chiropractic is the perfect way to speed recovery after an injury, because chiropractic works by creating mobility in the spine, which helps speed your body’s natural recovery.
If you’ve been injured and you’re experiencing pain, find a local chiropractor who can help you recover.