Shoulder Pain Injury
The CDC estimates that in a single year, more than 2.5 million Americans suffer crash injuries that result in a trip to the emergency room. Of these people, 200,000 remain hospitalized to recover from their injuries, leading to a collective loss of 1 million workdays. Death, severe body injuries, and disabilities are the worst consequences a car accident doctor witnesses regularly. Because of this, many people may think that shoulder pain is not that serious.
However, if you have pain and it is interfering with your quality of life, it's essential to consult with an auto injury doctor. Delaying medical treatment may cause the injury to get worse, while also impacting any personal injury claim you may later decide to make to cover medical bills.
Causes of Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder is held in place by a complex structure made up of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When this structure suffers an injury during the impact of a motor crash, it can lead to ongoing pain and even loss of the function of that arm. Here are some potential shoulder injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes:
Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior Tear: There is a bicep tendon that joins with the cartilage found at the end of the arm. If there is a tear in this tendon, people experience a sensation of grinding bones, hear popping sounds, experience pain, and have limited movement.
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: Sudden impact to the rotator cuff can lead to the development of tendinitis. Patients experience stiffness and pain when trying to lift their arms over their heads, such as when getting dressed or opening cupboards.
Rotator Cuff Tear: If the complex muscles protecting the shoulder joints and facilitating movement get torn, you may experience a dull ache. Over time, this may grow into severe pain, which restricts your arm movements.
Dislocated Shoulder: The arm's ball and socket are what help facilitate a wide range of motion. If they become separated from each other, you may have numbness and a tingling sensation in the arm. This can grow into weakness and muscle spasms.
Symptoms of Delayed Shoulder Injury
Shoulder injuries are often not immediately detectable at the scene of a crash. Many people may believe they have walked away unscathed and refuse medical attention. Even those who receive medical care may decide not to take X-rays as they feel they have not broken anything.
Because of this, shoulder injuries can go undetected and untreated for days or even months before they become unbearable, and the person looks for an auto injury doctor. Here are some of the general symptoms you may encounter when this happens, aside from those described earlier:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Back pain
- Neck pain
Reasons Behind Delaying Treatment
Despite efforts to reform the health care system, there are still millions of Americans who don't have health coverage. Many can't afford the high deductibles or copays they must meet before the insurance company begins to pay its share. Because of this, many Americans suffer from treatable injuries or even die from them. Others rack up large amounts of debt, trying to cover the bills while awaiting a settlement.
If you don't have sufficient medical coverage, you may feel inclined to keep putting off treatment. Maybe you have a demanding job and simply cannot find the time. However, if you don't take care of your body, it can't take care of you. This could potentially lead to even more days away from work if the issue is not addressed.
Risks of Not Treating Shoulder Injuries
The biggest concern people have about delaying treatment has to live with pain for the rest of their lives. Some patients seek other ways to adjust to the pain, such as prescription and illicit drugs. Both of these can have terrible legal and medical consequences.
If you are currently pursuing a personal injury claim, medical records are necessary to document the economic damages behind your claim. Documenting the extent of your treatment further helps justify any claims related to pain and suffering resulting from medical injuries. Without these records, it's almost impossible to prove your case.
There is also the chance that the shoulder pain is tied to another injury. You may have a minor spinal or neck injury that needs treatment. The body is a complex, organic machine, and pain in one part of the body doesn't mean that the same place of injury.
Finally, if the injury remains untreated, and you continue to put stress on your shoulder for work, your injury could become a long-term disability. This could make it even more difficult for you not just to hold a steady job, but pursue the things you love.
Potential Treatment Options
Every shoulder injury is different, so you need a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs. Our car injury doctor will take into consideration what kind of work you do, what your hobbies are, how often you need to drive, and anything else that may put additional stress on your shoulder.
In some instances, minor procedures are all that's necessary. This may range from heat and cold therapy to acupuncture. In other cases, you may need to consider local and steroid injections and ultrasound therapy. If the injury is severe, our doctors may recommend surgery.
Why Work With a Car Accident Doctor
Working with a doctor who has experience in handling injuries caused explicitly by motor vehicle crashes can make the process a lot easier. This is important if you need documents to file a personal injury claim. At CityWide Injury, our doctors go a step further to work side by side with your attorney throughout the case.
A car injury doctor also better understands what caused the injury and how to create a customized treatment plan to help you regain pain-free control of your arm. We start our process with an after-accident evaluation and then move forward with a plan centered on healing and rehabilitation. Make an appointment today to get the process started.
Contact us at 713-782-0082 for an appointment right away!