Anyone who has suffered a traumatic injury may recall they simply felt stunned or frightening in the moment, but remember they felt no pain initially. Even if they suffered something as serious as a concussion, whiplash, or a broken bone, this might be the case. This may make you mistakenly think you were not injured from any given accident, even though you might be. It’s important to note this is not unusual, and although it temporarily masks the pain, this is a biological phenomenon known as the “flight or fight” hormonal response, which causes the injured person’s adrenaline to flood the person’s bloodstream. Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, can block the sensation of pain, which is called a “stress-induced analgesia,” and it is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. This adrenaline rush is so powerful it can ward off feelings of pain for hours.
After an injury, the main reason humans have an adrenaline spike is to ward off feelings of pain. Although it seems counterintuitive, this can actually be a negative thing if the person is under the impression they are not injured, and they forego prompt medical treatment, and it is dangerously misleading. The reason a highly stressful situation can block the feelings of pain is because other events are so stressful, they cannot focus on anything else.
Adrenaline also triggers these changes in the body:
- Increased heart rate
- Oxygenated bood is redirected to the muscles
- Heightened awareness
- The air passages provide more oxygen to the muscles, which increases strength temporarily, and almost instantaneously
Even in the presence of a perceived threat or being under feelings of physical or emotional stress, can cause this spike of adrenaline. Most people have heard incredible stories of feats of strength that seem unheard of, such as a 100-pound female lifting up a car to free her child caught underneath a wheel. Another example would be a person who falls during a hike and bangs their shin but they don’t notice the pain because a wild animal like a mountain is nearby and the brain’s pain-processing pathways are temporarily numbed.
Get the Help You Need After an Injury Accident
By recognizing your body’s adrenaline rush response, you will know you might be injured in the aftermath of a traumatic injury, from something such as a car accident or a sports injury. A proper and immediate medical examination can also preserve your ability to collect financial compensation from a person who caused you injury accident, say, if you were involved in a car crash. Delayed treatment for an injury can be more difficult to directly associate with your injury accident, which can make it easier for insurance companies to escape liability.
As you meet with your doctor, you can also ask for advice on how to cope with your stress, as recalling your injury accident may even cause a second adrenaline spike, as you vividly remember the injury accident. Overexposure to adrenaline can be harmful to your health.
If you have been in an injury accident such as a car wreck or if you have experienced a painful sports injury, we can help you and work with your other physicians or even attorneys to collects damages for your medical expenses or other types of compensation available by law.
Contact us at QualCare Rehabilitation and Allied Medical Centers for an appointment. Dial (713) 588-0042 today.