Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident
When it comes to shoulder pain or shoulder injuries, many people suffer from these problems either immediately or shortly after a car wreck or motorcycle accident. The severe trauma to the shoulder joint caused the impact of an accident can result in several different types shoulder injury.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), collarbone (clavicle), and shoulder blade (scapula). These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Because of this mobility, the shoulder is more likely to be injured, especially the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which lays over the top of the shoulder.
Pain is a warning - like the red light on your dashboard which indicates something is wrong or out of balance. Treating only the symptoms of pain can prolong recovery - it is the cause of the pain which needs to be addressed. Instead of attempting to ignore the pain or treating the symptoms inappropriately intentionally address it and seek appropriate treatment.
Common symptoms of shoulder injury
- Painfully tender, stiff shoulder that hurts more at night and may interrupt sleeping
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, or swelling in shoulder
- Shoulder pain in a specific spot that may worsen with exertion
- Difficulty moving arm in any direction without pain
- Sudden, intense pain in shoulder area
- Pale, blue or otherwise discolored shoulder area
Common shoulder injuries you may experience after an accident
- Rotator cuff tear - the most common shoulder injury after an accident is a stretching, tear, or rip in the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder joint. The shoulder has three separate joints, and any of these joints can be separated, causing extreme pain and loss of movement.
- Fractured bone
- Strains and sprains - injuries to the rotator cuff muscles or muscles surrounding the shoulder
What treatment do I need to regain full use of my shoulder?
- If you suspect a broken bone or tear resulting from your accident, seek medical care immediately. Do not move the shoulder; stabilize its position.
- Shoulder injuries can be accurately diagnosed through clinical evaluation. If your doctor suspects a tear or shoulder separation advanced imaging such as MRI, CAT scan, or x-rays will be suggested.
- Elevation, compression, and ice may also aid healing.
- A torn muscle or ligament or tendon may require prompt surgery, so an early diagnosis is essential for maximizing your recovery.
- Pain can be coming from somewhere else in your body (referred shoulder pain), so accurate, as well as early, diagnosis is essential.
- Laser therapy - laser therapy works to speed the body's natural healing processes, decrease pain and inflammation, and helps restore proper function.
- Therapeutic exercises - once the shoulder pain and inflammation is decreased, it is extremely important to begin exercises to help remodel the scar tissue and maintain proper function of the joint
Dr. Michael Buczynski at Art of Health Chiropractic in Nashville, TN has treated over 1100 auto accident patients over the past two years. He has worked with patients exhibiting symptoms such as whiplash, headaches, wrist and shoulder sprains, disk bulges, hip and knee pain, numbness, tingling, back pain, and more.
Call the office at (615)953-7544 to schedule your appointment today.