Causes and Treatment of Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident

Shoulder pain after a car accident has a significant negative impact on your daily activities. Whether it’s a dull ache or sharp, shooting pain, dealing with shoulder discomfort can be a real challenge.

At our Atlanta injury center, you will find relief from shoulder pain through effective treatments like chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Our doctors will identify the exact cause of your pain and create a personalized treatment plan to achieve the best results.

First of all, let us explain the most common types of car accident injuries that cause shoulder pain.

Soft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries are one of the most common types of injuries after a car accident. When the impact forces your body to suddenly stop or change direction, it can cause damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your shoulder area. These soft tissues play a crucial role in maintaining stability and allowing for smooth movement of the joint.

Symptoms of soft tissue injury may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder. It’s important not to ignore these symptoms as they can worsen over time if left untreated.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing stability and allowing for smooth movement. However, during a car accident, the forceful impact can cause the rotator cuff to tear.

A rotator cuff tear can result in severe shoulder pain after a car accident. You may experience weakness in your arm and have difficulty lifting or reaching overhead. The pain may be sharp or dull and worsen with certain movements or activities.

If you suspect this type of injury after a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly. Our Atlanta injury center specialists have extensive experience in treating it and helping you regain strength and mobility in your shoulder and arm.


SLAP tear, short for superior labrum anterior to posterior tear, is a common shoulder injury that can occur after a car accident. This type of injury affects the labrum, which is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of the shoulder joint. A SLAP tear can cause pain and instability in the shoulder, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

The main cause of a SLAP tear is trauma or forceful impact to the shoulder joint, such as during a car accident. The sudden movement and jarring impact can result in damage to the labrum. Symptoms include pain in the front or the back of the shoulder, weakness, popping or clicking sensations, and difficulty with overhead movements.

Shoulder Fracture

Intense shoulder pain after a car crash can be a symptom of a fracture. This is a common injury after a crash on the road. The force of the impact can cause the bones in the shoulder to break or crack. This can lead to severe pain, limited range of motion, and difficulty performing everyday activities.

There are different types of shoulder fractures that can occur, including clavicle fractures, scapula fractures, and proximal humerus fractures. Each type requires specific treatment based on the location and severity of the fracture.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement, also known as subacromial impingement syndrome, is a common cause of shoulder pain after a car crash. It occurs when the tendons and bursa in the shoulder become compressed or irritated between the bones of the shoulder joint.

One of the main causes of shoulder impingement is repetitive overhead movements or trauma, such as whiplash from a car accident. The sudden impact can strain and injure the muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint.

Symptoms of shoulder impingement may include pain with certain movements, weakness in the affected arm, difficulty reaching overhead, and a clicking or popping sensation in the shoulder.

car crashes often cause shoulder injuries

Our Doctors Will Perform Diagnostic Tests to Identify the Exact Cause of Your Shoulder Pain

The first step we take when you arrive at our Atlanta injury center is accurately identifying the cause of shoulder pain. Our experienced doctors will conduct a comprehensive examination of your shoulder and review your medical history. This allows them to gather important information that may contribute to understanding the underlying cause of your pain.

To further assess the severity and location of any potential injuries, your doctor may recommend various imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs. These tests can provide detailed images of the soft tissues, bones, and joints within your shoulder.

By combining their expertise with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, our doctors are able to obtain an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

Many Patients Respond Well to Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring proper alignment and function to the spine and other parts of the body. When it comes to shoulder pain, chiropractors will perform a thorough examination to identify any misalignments or imbalances that may be contributing to the discomfort.

One common technique used by chiropractors for shoulder pain is spinal manipulation. This involves applying controlled force to specific joints in order to improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. By adjusting the spine, chiropractors can also address any underlying issues that may be causing referred pain in the shoulder.

In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may also use other therapies such as massage, stretching exercises, and electrical stimulation to help relieve shoulder pain. These treatments can help reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote healing in injured tissues.

Physiotherapy Will Help You Regain Mobility and Strength

Physiotherapy is a vital component in the recovery process for shoulder pain after a car accident. It focuses on restoring mobility and strength to the injured shoulder, allowing you to regain your normal range of motion and function.

During your physiotherapy sessions, our skilled therapists will assess your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. They will use various techniques such as manual therapy, exercises, and stretching to alleviate pain and improve muscle flexibility.

One of the primary goals of physiotherapy is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Strengthening these muscles helps stabilize the joint, reducing the risk of further injury or complications. Your physical therapist will guide you through targeted exercises that gradually increase in intensity as your shoulder heals.

Let Us Help You Recover From Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident! 

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain after a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Atlanta injury center specialists. We have the expertise and resources necessary for effective diagnosis and treatment.

Our doctors understand the physical and emotional toll that a car accident can take on your life. That’s why our compassionate team is committed to providing exceptional care every step of the way. We prioritize open communication with our patients so that together we can achieve optimal recovery.

Don’t wait any longer. Call 855-475-2588 now to schedule your initial appointment with us!