A car accident is one of the most stressful and frightening experiences you can go through. Even seemingly minor crashes can cause pain or injury, so taking care of yourself and being mindful of your health after an accident is essential. One of the most common issues people struggle with after a collision is high blood pressure, which can develop for a number of reasons. If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you should understand the link between crashes and high blood pressure so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your health.
Trauma, Stress, and High Blood Pressure
Car accidents can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. During the accident, your body might release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline, that cause the fight-or-flight response. While this can protect you during an emergency, it does cause a temporary spike in blood pressure.
Chronic stress after the accident may be a factor in long-term hypertension, too. Although anxiety does not cause high blood pressure on its own, your blood pressure can elevate when you experience panic attacks or anxiety attacks. After a car accident, you might experience these intense episodes due to the trauma of the collision or the stress of handling the aftermath.
Injuries and High Blood Pressure
Hypertension can also be a direct result of physical injuries you sustain during the crash. Damage to certain organs, especially your kidneys, can affect your blood pressure. Your kidneys produce a hormone that helps to regulate your blood pressure, so a kidney injury could cause either hypertension or hypotension.
Back pain is also associated with high blood pressure in many cases. Although the exact link between the two conditions is unclear, some experts believe that issues with the vertebrae in the neck could affect blood flow. These types of injuries may be especially common if you experience whiplash during the collision. Any type of chronic pain can increase blood pressure, too, as pain may signal to your adrenal glands to release adrenaline.
Reduced Mobility and High Blood Pressure
A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to protect yourself from high blood pressure. People who are sedentary are much more likely to struggle with hypertension than people who get regular exercise. Unfortunately, if a car accident causes chronic pain or reduced mobility, the change in your lifestyle might increase your risk of blood pressure issues.
A short-term break from your daily routine or exercise regimen to heal from an injury should not lead to long-term blood pressure problems. However, if you have lasting injuries that will permanently affect your ability to exercise, you may see a change in your blood pressure.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
Immediately after a collision, you might feel frantic, confused, or overwhelmed. However, taking the right steps after a crash will help your case if you decide to pursue compensation. Because of the increase in adrenaline in your system, you may not feel any pain even if you have an injury. The signs of injury can develop later, though, so you should always document an accident as thoroughly as possible.
If you are able to move around at the scene of the crash, take pictures of the site. You should have photos of all of the vehicles involved as well as any conditions or environmental factors that might have caused the crash. If anyone else witnessed the accident, make sure you or the police get their story and their contact information.
Seek medical attention right away if you have any pain or visible injuries. Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s better to receive medical care immediately than to wait for the pain to worsen. Once your injuries have been assessed by your doctor, you can contact your insurance provider. You should keep documentation of your injuries and your medical bills so that you can include the information in your claim.
Consider reaching out to an attorney to help with the insurance negotiations, too. If you’re recovering from an injury, handling the insurance claim can feel like an extra burden. An injury lawyer knows how to work with all the parties involved to get the best outcome.
High blood pressure can put you at risk of serious medical complications, especially when it lasts for a long time. The psychological and physical health implications of a car accident can cause or worsen hypertension, so you should monitor your blood pressure in the days or weeks following a collision. If the crash has had a negative impact on your health, you should contact Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC to consult with a car accident injury about your options for compensation. Our experienced attorneys are here to support you as you recover from the accident.