How Can a Car Accident Cause Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a type of injury to the shoulder that can occur during a car accident. The stress placed on a person’s body during a vehicle accident can lead to many types of painful injuries, and the shoulder is an area of the body frequently impacted.

In the majority of your body, your bones are covered with muscles and tendons. In the shoulder joint, the bones sit on top of muscles and tendons. The rotator cuff of your shoulder, made up of muscles and tendons, sits between the humerus bone and the acromion bone. 

When the rotator cuff sustains and injury, it becomes inflamed, and tendons can begin painfully rubbing against the surrounding bone. This painful condition of inflammation and rubbing is known as shoulder impingement syndrome. 

During a car accident, the shoulder might sustain a direct blow, or it might become strained while a person is gripping the steering wheel or jostled during the sudden force of the impact. An injury to the shoulder can result in the inflammatory process that’s characteristic of shoulder impingement syndrome. 

Symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome associated with a car accident can include:

  • Pain in the upper arm, neck, and shoulder, especially upon reaching above the head with the arm;
  • Difficulty extending the arm above the head or behind the back; and
  • Weakness in the shoulder joint.

Symptoms will vary from person to person, but these are the general signs of a rotator cuff injury and shoulder impingement syndrome. If you were involved in a car accident and have some symptoms consistent with a shoulder injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. 


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