Many people suffer from shoulder pain or problems either immediately or shortly after a car wreck, motorcycle, or bike accident, slip and fall, or after having been hurt in a work accident. The severe trauma to the shoulder joint caused by the impact of an accident can result in several different types of shoulder injuries.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), the collarbone (clavicle), and the 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 that 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 a shoulder injury
- Painfully tender, a stiff shoulder that hurts more at night and may interrupt sleeping
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, or swelling in the shoulder
- Shoulder pain in a specific spot that may worsen with exertion
- Difficulty moving the arm in any direction without pain
- Sudden, intense pain in the 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
A frozen shoulder usually begins when injury or overuse causes pain that, in turn, limits the shoulder’s range of motion. Common conditions that cause pain in the shoulder are bursitis or a tear in the rotator cuff.
If you don’t move your shoulder much at all for many weeks, the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint thickens and shrinks. It loses its ability to stretch. When you try to move it even a little, it hurts. So to avoid the pain, you move the shoulder even less. As a result, the joint capsule stiffens even further. It’s a vicious cycle.
A frozen shoulder can take months to develop. The cornerstone of treatment is physical therapy. At first, you’ll concentrate on exercises that stretch the joint capsule. Then you’ll move on to strengthening exercises.
Full recovery can take several months or even longer. If you don’t improve steadily, go back to your doctor or consult a shoulder expert. In rare cases, a frozen shoulder that doesn’t respond to the treatments I’ve discussed may require surgery.
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 by an orthopedic doctor through tests such as x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and clinical evaluation.
- The remedy may be as simple as the use of a sling to immobilize your arm and rest your shoulder to promote healing and reduce pain.
- 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 an accurate, as well as early, diagnosis is essential.
- Physical therapy
If a combination of home treatment and physical therapy does not help your shoulder injury, shoulder surgery may be required. Surgery is not only expensive, but will require recovery time away from your workplace, limitations on your daily activities, and time and money spent on physical therapy and doctor’s visits. If your shoulder has been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, please contact our office for a free consultation to determine the best course for obtaining the financial resources needed to pay for your treatment and lost wages.
How am I going to afford treatment for my shoulder injury?
If a combination of home treatment and physical therapy does not help your shoulder injury, shoulder surgery may be required. Surgery is not only expensive but will require recovery time away from your workplace, limitations on your daily activities, and time and money spent on physical therapy and doctor’s visits.
If your shoulder has been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, please contact the Robinette Legal Group, West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers, for a free consultation to determine the best course for obtaining the financial resources needed to pay for your treatment and lost wages.
Contact us today at 1-304-594-1800