The effects of a car accident can last far beyond the initial impact. In fact, for the 2.35 million people in the United States who are injured in a car accident annually, the effects may be felt for years.
If you’re experiencing neck pain following a car accident, your natural instinct might be to think that it’s due to whiplash. However, it might actually be due to a rotator cuff injury.
Lots of our readers are asking, “How do I know if the pain is from rotator cuff or neck?” Let’s take a closer look at rotator cuff neck pain and how a rotator cuff injury can become a literal pain in your neck.
A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons surrounding the joint in your shoulder. It’s what keeps the top of your upper arm bone securely in your shoulder socket.
When those muscles or tendons are damaged, it’s classified as a rotator cuff injury, though the severity can range depending on your injury.
As you age, you may get a slight rotator cuff injury as a result of normal wear and tear.
Or, if you perform a repetitive motion that strains your rotator cuff – like a tennis player, regularly swinging their racket – that can cause the tendons in the rotator cuff to become inflamed, resulting in pain.
A more severe rotator cuff injury might involve a full or partial tear in your tendon, often from a specific injury like a fall or a car accident. With a tendon tear, you’ll lose your full range of motion and experience significant pain.
Pain in our bodies is not always black and white. Just because your neck hurts, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your neck. Because your neck is connected to your shoulders through eight cervical nerves, neck pain is often connected to shoulder pain and vice versa.
When a shoulder injury occurs, the pain is relayed to your brain through those nerves, which means you might process it as neck pain, even though it stems from your shoulder.
Likewise, if you’ve sustained a rotator cuff injury, your body will naturally try to compensate for the pain by using other muscle groups instead. Often, this puts a strain on muscles near the shoulder, particularly those in the neck.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident and are now experiencing rotator cuff neck pain, time is of the essence. If you don’t take action quickly to talk to someone, you could deal with the effects of the accident for decades, or even for the rest of your life.
We’re here to help you find a doctor that specializes in car accident injuries to treat your pain. We understand that the aftermath of a car accident is incredibly stressful and we can help alleviate some of that stress by giving you the resources you need to protect yourself and move forward following the accident.
Call 1-800-897-8440 today to take the first step toward recovering from your injury.
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