First access the situation and check yourself for injuries. If you're injured, call 911 or ask someone else to do so and wait for the appropriate emergency personnel. If a minor auto accident you can exchange information, document the accident and notify the insured. Many times after accidents the adrenaline is flowing and you may not feel much, but later that day or night the muscle soreness and injury may begin to set in... This is where whiplash injuries, neck/back pain, headaches and misalignments in the spine may start to occur within several hours to days of an injury. A chiropractic consultation and examination as soon as possible after an auto accident will help ease your pain, start to recovery process and can help prevent long term complications from the injuries caused by the accident.
It looks like that auto accident you had when you were a teenager is finally catching up with you. This month I had several patients who had severe pain in their neck that just happened for no apparent reason or cause, it just happened as they stated. While discussing their reviewing history, they didn't remember of any accidents in the last 10 or 20 years that they recalled. The spinal exam showed a lot of restriction and muscle spasm. After the recommendation of neck x-rays, it was determined that they had a spinal level which is typical for the fifth and sixth vertebra in the neck to have significant amount of spinal degeneration and arthritis. I asked them do you remember maybe 30 years or more ago were you may be in a small fender bender. The answer to that is oh yeah, I remember I was a teenager and was rear ended. You know, I really didn't feel any pain I was just sore for a couple days, but it just kind of went away. I said this is the accident that caused this amount of spinal degeneration in your neck and arthritis.