Chest Pain After a Car Accident

by Dr. Travis Utter
February 20th, 2019

Experiencing Chest Pain After an Accident?

Believe it or not, drivers (and even occasionally passengers) who have been involved in auto accidents can experience chest pains as a result. You may be first inclined to assume that these chest pains are related to a heart attack, but fortunately, most of the accident-caused chest pains we encounter are due to other factors (though heart attacks after an accident are not unheard of, they are just quite rare).

Causes of Chest Pain After an Accident

Provided below, we have listed four of the most common causes of car accident-related chest pain, and if there are any steps you can take to mitigate them.

Seat Belt Injury Chest Pain

Perhaps the most common cause of accident-caused chest pain is your seat belt, and while it may seem ironic that the device installed in vehicles to protect you during an accident can actually cause you harm, that is still preferable to the alternative -- being ejected through the car’s windshield. The most common injuries caused by automobile seat belts are bruised, and even occasionally, fractured ribs.

seat belt chest pain

If you wish to cut down on the risk of seat belt related injury, one thing you can do is purchase a padded seat belt cover, which are often made of foam padding and wool to not only provide a more comfortable driving experience, but to also absorb some of the impact shock during an accident. We recommend a sheepskin wool cover.

Steering Wheel Injury Chest Pain

If your seat belt doesn’t injure you during a high speed collision, there’s a decent chance that your steering wheel might. While modern automobile manufacturers do what they can to cover this ring of metal in foam and vinyl for protection and comfort, steering wheels are still quite firm, and any major front end impact might cause your chest to impact the wheel, which can cause both bruised and fractured ribs, not dissimilar to seat belt injuries.

While not quite as effective at mitigating the risk of injury as a padded seat belt cover, there are many padded steering wheel covers available online, including a sheepskin steering wheel cover, which can soften the blow of impact if you collide with your steering wheel in an accident.

Accident Related Muscle Strain

A car accident is a stressful event, not just to your mind, but also to the body. Seeing that you are about to be in an accident can cause an immediate subconscious tensing of your body’s muscles in an effort to brace for impact. This muscle tensing, plus whatever musculoskeletal injuries are incurred during the accident itself can cause pain all over, including in the chest area.

Anxiety After Car Accident

The shock and pain of an accident can make anyone anxious and scared; however, some people are especially susceptible to higher levels of anxiety, which can present itself as a panic attack in moments of great stress. A panic attack is a debilitating moment of extreme anxiety, which can have physical symptoms, including chest pains. In fact, a number of panic attack sufferers have confused their panic attacks for heart attacks because the pain is so intense in the chest area.

anxiety chest pain

Luckily, there are a multitude of all-natural remedies which can help to reduce anxiety, including:

  • Meditation
  • Herbal teas (Chamomile and green)
  • Lemon balm
  • CBD
  • Aromatherapy

Car Accident Chest Pain Physicians

If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident and have suffered chest pain as a result, it is vital that you see an accident physician pain specialist as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment at any of our nine convenient locations across Central Florida to get on the road to recovery today!

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