Should I Worry About Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident?

Shoulder Pain After Car AccidentOne of the most common injuries victims of Tennessee car accidents suffer is to the shoulder. Even a slow-speed collision can injure your shoulder depending on how you were sitting in the vehicle and where that vehicle was struck. Shoulders are an important part of the movements human beings use most often, and so even the slightest amount of shoulder pain can limit your ability to perform daily activities like getting dressed, brushing your teeth, driving to work, and  operating a computer or machinery. If left untreated or treated improperly, shoulder injuries can result in chronic pain.

Causes of shoulder pain

Shoulder pain from a car accident can be caused by any of the following:

  • A fractured humerus or clavicle
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Whiplash
  • A dislocated shoulder joint
  • Impingement
  • Scapula fracture
  • Damage to soft tissue

Symptoms of shoulder pain

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Issues with range of motion
  • Pain when lifting objects
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Grinding, popping, locking, or catching sensations
  • Pain when lifting your arm over your head or behind your back

Always seek medical care after a wreck

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident, even if you think it was minor, can lead to serious injuries. Delayed onset of pain is a real medical condition. This means that you might not feel injured in the immediate moments following the accident, but it can develop in the hours and days following the accident.

Because your awareness of pain may be delayed, it is critical you seek medical care following any and every auto accident. Another reason for doing this, is the major benefit it will have should you later need to file a claim. Seeking medical evaluation by EMTs or emergency room doctors makes it more likely any injuries you’re not aware of will be found. Doing so immediately after the accident also makes it easier to prove the injuries are the result of that accident, and it provides proof to the insurance company that you took the accident seriously.

Treatment for shoulder pain

Depending on the severity of the shoulder injury and pain, you could receive any of the following treatment options:

  • Use of a sling to immobilize the arm and shoulder
  • Physical therapy
  • Compression, elevation, and icing
  • Steroid injections to reduce any inflammation
  • Surgery
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication

It is important that you follow through on all treatment methods prescribed by the doctor. Ending physical therapy before it is recommended, not wearing a sling, or not undergoing surgery can make it difficult for any claim you file to succeed.

Recovering from a shoulder injury can take anywhere from three months to one year depending on the seriousness of the injury. If you suffered a strain, it might take anywhere from three to six months to recover. If you had to undergo surgery on your shoulder, it could take up to a year to completely recover.

Did you suffer a shoulder injury in a car accident in Tennessee? If so, you need to seek medical care immediately and follow all instructions provided by the doctor. You should also seek legal assistance from a Gladiator at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm. Call our office at 615-425-2500 or complete our contact form to schedule your free consultation with a Gladiator today. Our offices are located in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville.