FAQ: Why does my shoulder hurt after a car accident?
Many people suffer from shoulder pain after a car accident. The severe trauma to the shoulder joint caused by the impact of the crash can result in various types of shoulder injuries. Our shoulder is a ball and socket joint with three main bones:
- Scapula: the shoulder blade
- Humerus: the upper arm bone
- Clavicle: collar bone
These three bones are held in place by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion compared to other joint, due to which, the chances of an injury also increase.
Whenever you feel shoulder pain after a car crash, it may be a sign of an underlying injury. Any pain or symptoms should not be ignored and immediate medical treatment should be sought. Our St. Louis auto accident attorney discusses shoulder injuries in detail.
Symptoms of a shoulder injury
- Pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the joint that hurts more at night
- Pain in a specific area that increases with motion
- Weakness, tingling, numbness and/or swelling in shoulder
- Sudden, intense pain in the joint
- Difficulty moving the arm
- Discoloration in shoulder area
Shoulder injuries that may result from a St. Louis car accident
Shoulder injuries may vary in location and severity. Some of the most commonly reported car accident related shoulder injuries include:
- Fractured bone
- Rotator cuff tear
- Strains and sprains
Frozen shoulder injury following a St. Louis car crash
A frozen shoulder begins when an injury causes pain that limits the range of motion of the shoulder. If you do not move the shoulder much for several weeks, the tissue surrounding it may thicken and shrink, and lose its ability to stretch. If you try to move it, it hurts a lot. So, to avoid pain, you restrict the shoulder even further. This way, you may develop a frozen shoulder over the months. The most common treatment for a frozen shoulder is physical therapy. The initial exercises are intended to stretch the joint capsule, and then strengthening exercises are recommended.
Complete recovery can take months or even longer. If the frozen shoulder does not respond to therapy at all, you may need a surgery. However, this happens only in rare cases.
Treatment for shoulder injuries
If you think you have suffered a shoulder injury from a car accident, you should not move the shoulder. Stabilize the position and seek immediate medical care as soon as possible. A doctor will likely perform tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans to diagnose the exact location, severity, and type of injury. Depending on the type and extent of injury, the treatment may be as simple as use of a sling to rest your shoulder or immobilize the arm and ice therapy, or as complex as a surgery. Surgery is often required in cases involving a torn ligament or tendon. Physical therapy is used in almost all cases.
In most cases, a combination of treatments is used. If your injury requires surgery, you will likely face huge medical expenses. It is important to get the negligent driver responsible for the accident to compensate you for all the expenses arising from the accident. Speak with a St. Louis car crash attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. today to learn more about your legal rights. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.