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Can A Car Accident Cause a Frozen Shoulder?

Numerous injuries can be sustained in a car accident, ranging from small scrapes and bruises to more serious ailments including fractured bones or brain trauma. One lesser-known injury that can occur after a car accident is a frozen shoulder.

At Impact Medical Zephyrhills, our experienced accident care team understands the complexities of car accident injuries and their potential long-term effects on your health. In this guide, we will explore the connection between car accidents and frozen shoulders.

What is a Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder occurs when the connective tissues surrounding the joint become thick and stiff, causing pain, and limiting movement. While it can occur for various reasons, including underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, one of the most common causes is injury.

Car accidents can be a major cause of shoulder injuries that lead to frozen shoulders. The impact of a collision can result in trauma to the joint and surrounding tissues, leading to inflammation and stiffness over time.

How an Accident Causes Frozen Shoulder

The mechanism behind how a car accident causes frozen shoulder is not fully understood, but there are several theories.

  • One possibility is that the impact of the crash causes damage to the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder joint, leading to inflammation and subsequent scarring.
  • Another theory suggests that whiplash, which often occurs during car accidents, may be responsible for frozen shoulder by causing trauma to the neck and upper back muscles that connect to the shoulder blade.

Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder

The symptoms of a frozen shoulder can vary in severity but usually include pain and stiffness in the affected arm. Initially, the pain may be mild but gradually become more severe over time.

You may also have trouble moving your arm or reaching behind your back without discomfort. In some cases, the affected arm may feel weak or numb due to nerve compression caused by inflammation around the joint.

It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you have a frozen shoulder after a car accident injury as you can lose mobility in your arm if left untreated over time.

The Three Stages of a Frozen Shoulder

Usually, frozen shoulder develops progressively over three stages.

  • Freezing Stage: The shoulder hurts with every motion, and its range of motion is constrained. This stage can last for 2 to 9 months.
  • Frozen Stage: During this phase, pain might lessen. The shoulder, though, stiffens up. It becomes more challenging to use. This stage can last for 4 to 12 months.
  • Thawing Stage: The shoulder starts to move more easily. This phase lasts for five to twenty-four months.

Treating a Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulders are characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, making it difficult to move the arm. This condition can be debilitating and affect one’s daily activities, such as driving or lifting objects.

If left untreated, a frozen shoulder can worsen over time and lead to permanent loss of mobility. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals with this injury can regain full range of motion in their shoulder joint.

Chiropractic Care

While there is no definitive cure for frozen shoulder, chiropractic care has been shown to be an effective treatment option for some patients.

Chiropractors use various techniques to manipulate the joints and soft tissues around the affected area. This can help improve range of motion and reduce inflammation in the joint capsule. Additionally, chiropractors may recommend exercise or physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles and prevent future injuries.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that is often recommended for individuals with frozen shoulder.

Physical therapy can help improve range of motion and reduce pain associated with the condition. Exercise, manual treatment, and modalities like heat or cold are just a few of the strategies physical therapists employ to speed up healing.

  • Strengthening exercises are particularly important because they help improve strength in the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint which can alleviate stress on the joint itself.
  • Manual therapy techniques may include soft tissue mobilization or joint mobilization to stretch and loosen tight tissues around the affected area.

Say Goodbye to Frozen Shoulder Pain

Frozen shoulder pain can be a debilitating and frustrating condition to deal with. However, with the right treatment and care from our team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills, we can help you gain mobility and live pain-free.

Don’t let frozen shoulder pain hold you back any longer – schedule an appointment with us by calling (813) 706-5156 today and take the first step towards relief.