We use them for almost any daily task, from writing by hand to brushing our hair. That’s why when you carry more stuff in the shopping basket, it’s common that you feel discomfort in your shoulders more than in other joints.
Shoulder pain is normal after a motorcycle collision or car accident. When we hold on to the steering wheel/handlebars or when the car seat belt restrains us in the seat, the shoulders take most of the blow’s impact.
In patients who don’t have an injury, this condition is related to excessive and/or repetitive activity. Poorly executed exercise or heavy lifting can lead to various syndromes such as bursitis, tendinitis, or rotator cuff inflammation.
People who spend a lot of time sitting or standing can also suffer from pain in their shoulders and, additionally, in their back or neck.
This is mostly because of their poor posture. The extra strain from a forced position causes the muscles to contract, causing referred pain (such as a neck’s herniated disc) or a feeling of tension (muscle strain)
Shoulder pain can also be related to stress, as many people somatize emotions throughout the body, or even to bad nights’ sleep. Most of these cases improve once the muscles in the shoulders and neck are loosened with enough rest or massage.
Another possible cause of discomfort is due to age. From the age of 30 (with the highest incidence between 45 and 50), calcium accumulates in the supraspinatus tendon, causing intense pain and the inability to move the shoulders and arms. This is known as shoulder calcifications.
In an accident scenario, two opposing forces (the speed of the vehicle and the impact of the hit) cause the human body to forcefully rebound. This sudden, intense movement is absorbed by muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, which can result in significant trauma without the victim being aware of it at the time.
The shoulders are subjected to monumental forces after a side or frontal blow. They’re usually get hit by the arms that slow down the involuntary forward movement while holding on to the steering wheel. Likewise, the shoulders absorb the energy of the seat belt jolt that clings to the body in the seat, minimizing the risk of being thrown out or hitting the steering wheel, door, or cabin. If you don’t use the seat belt, the shoulders are the first to hit the door when the collision is from the side.
In that sense, shoulder pain after a car accident can have several causes:
Not all shoulder ailments are directly related to an injury. Sometimes it’s just a normal contraction, especially if you haven’t suffered from a sudden movement, fall, or direct blow. However, you should never wait until your shoulders are chronically painful to see a physician.
Because of the complexity of shoulder, injuries are usually not diagnosed until the damage becomes more complicated, and the patient suffers limitations in strength and mobility. For this reason, it’s always advisable to see a chiropractor who understands the mechanism of shoulder injuries and pain, especially after an accident.
Although it may seem obvious, a shoulder problem is accompanied by several symptoms that aren’t always just pain. After a moderate or severe injury, many patients experience:
Many clinical cases are relieved without the need for surgery. Tightness or spasms of the upper trapezius in the shoulder, dislocations or poor mechanics of the neck vertebrae mimic more complex injuries that are relieved with chiropractic treatment, without the need for intervention of the scalpel. Most injuries after a motor vehicle collision will heal with rest and immobilization.
But when it comes to a more intricate joints such as the shoulder and spine, medical attention and Chiropractic care is essential to avoid long-term damage. If a patient has any symptoms of a shoulder injury, waiting for pain relief or for the shoulder to fix itself is not the answer. Without treatment from a specialist, the symptoms will worsen, and the damage may be irreparable to some degree. Remember: no home treatment should replace medical diagnosis!
If you live around Vancouver, Washington, NE Portland, or Gresham, Oregon, we can help!
Located near Stark Avenue, we treat most muscle injuries or problems related to motor vehicle accidents around the Portland, Vancouver Washington, and Gresham Oregon area.