After a car accident, it takes time for the adrenaline to settle down before you start to feel pain from some of the injuries. Shoulder injuries are common culprits for delayed symptoms, so many people overlook them until a day or two after the accident.
Recognizing the most common shoulder pain issues after an accident can help you identify when you need to seek treatment.
Tingling and numbness in your arm, hand and fingers
You might not immediately correlate symptoms you feel in your hand and fingers with a problem in your shoulder, but pinched nerves and dislocations can exhibit initially in your extremities. Symptoms like this after an accident should encourage you to seek medical attention.
Limited range of motion
When you lose range of motion in your shoulder and arm following a car accident, that can indicate one of several injuries, including dislocation, rotator cuff tear, soft tissue damage or even a fracture.
Pain radiating out from the shoulder
After an accident, the impact may dislocate your shoulder or damage the rotator cuff. This often exhibits initially as an ache or shooting pain from your shoulder. The inflammation and pain will gradually intensify without proper medical attention.
Initial medical evaluations may not detect a shoulder injury at the scene. The adrenaline in your body may prevent you from even noticing that pain until later, at which point you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. An x-ray or CT scan is often necessary to determine the source of the pain.