You may have heard of an athlete with a rotator cuff injury, but did you know you can also tear your rotator cuff in a car accident? The shoulder joint has a wide range of mobility that allows for your arm to move in so many directions. However, with that amount of movement available, it also means the shoulder joint is less stable than other joints in the body. The rotator cuff refers to a group of soft tissues that provide support to your shoulder joint. If you are experiencing shoulder pain after a car accident, then you will want to speak with a doctor about potential causes. For shoulder pain chiropractic care after a car accident, your chiropractor can diagnose a torn rotator cuff and walk you through your treatment options.
How the Rotator Cuff Works
The rotator cuff is a combination of muscles and tendons that work to keep the ball of your upper arm bone firmly inside the socket of the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons surround the joint and help with movement, support, and stability. When you move your arm and rotate it, lift your arm, or move your arm forward to backward, all these motions engage your rotator cuff. When the rotator cuff is damaged or torn, it can make easy, everyday movements like brushing your hair or reaching behind your back uncomfortable and even impossible.
How a Car Accident Can Impact the Shoulder Joint
A sudden impact and collision with another vehicle can put a lot of pressure on your body. If your vehicle is damaged, it can put you at greater risk for injury. You can also experience a shoulder injury from your seat belt. While the seat belt is designed to protect you from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash, it cannot prevent you from getting injured at all. When worn properly, the seat belt should fit over the front of your shoulder and across your chest, clasping at your hip. If your seat belt is at an odd angle around your shoulder, when it locks during a car accident, it can actually put awkward pressure on the joint, damaging or tearing the muscles and tendons in your rotator cuff.
Symptoms of a Torn Rotator Cuff
Some common symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include pain in your shoulder and upper arm. You may also notice some muscle weakness and difficulty lifting, rotating, or moving your arm in certain directions. You may even hear cracking or popping sounds when engaging the shoulder joint. You may feel aches and pains deep inside your shoulder joint and find it difficult to get comfortable when trying to sleep. For a complete torn rotator cuff, you may not be able to complete certain movements. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your shoulder after a car accident, then visit your car accident injury chiropractor as soon as possible.
Diagnosing a Torn Rotator Cuff After a Car Accident
Your car accident chiropractor will want to perform a physical examination of your shoulder and arm to assess for any possible damage and injury in the area. They may want to test the strength of your arm muscles and ask you to move your arm and rotate your shoulder in certain directions. They will also want to hear about the symptoms you have been experiencing and if any movements or positions have made the pain get worse or better. Your doctor may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray or CT scan to get a clearer picture of the affected area. These types of tests can also help rule out other potential injuries with similar symptoms.
Treatment Options for a Torn Rotator Cuff After a Car Accident
So what are the things chiropractic can help with after a car accident? Shoulder pain chiropractic care is an all-natural and non-surgical option for treating a torn rotator cuff. In many cases, resting the area, applying ice to address inflammation, and working through gentle stretches and exercises can help you fully recover from a rotator cuff injury. If you do need surgery to address a more serious rotator cuff injury, then your chiropractor can help you recover from surgery and provide you with personalized care while you heal.
Visit AICA Orthopedics in Marietta after you’ve been in a car accident and meet with our team of multi-specialty car accident doctors for comprehensive care.