Upper limb pain after a car accident is amongst the most commonly reported symptoms. Generally, arm, shoulder and neck pain are the first symptoms to appear after a car accident. After an accident, the pain may start immediately, however, it can also develop days or even weeks later. There are three common ways that upper limb pain can arise after a car accident, including neck injuries, direct force to the neck, arm or shoulder regions, or from tension in the neck and back as a result of whiplash injury. If you suffer from upper limb pain after a car accident, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
First, upper limb pain after a car accident can arise as a result of a neck injury. Whiplash is a common neck injury that is caused by a rapid movement of the head forward, backward, or from side to side. Each year, an estimated 1.99 million Americans become injured in whiplash accidents. Typically, whiplash injury causes the ligaments running along the front and back of the spine to become stretched out. While whiplash injuries can directly affect the structure and stability of the neck, they can also cause problems in the arm and shoulder regions. When ligaments or discs in the neck are injured, the nerves that travel from the arm can also become negatively impacted.
As the inflammation and swelling develops after the injury, it can irritate nerves surrounding the muscle. This causes a signal to the brain to protect the affected area. Generally, the body responds by having muscles contract to immobilize the area. This response can cause muscles to tighten up and spasm. Accordingly, this type of injury can result in immediate or delayed pain in the upper limbs.
Secondly, upper limb pain after a car accident can occur because of direct force to the neck, arm or shoulder regions. The violent force associated with a car accident can directly damage the neck, shoulders, arms and wrists. Typically, individuals who suffer from direct force trauma experience pain in these regions immediately after the car accident.
Moreover, it is not uncommon for individuals to suffer upper limb pain after a car accident as a result of tension in the neck and back from a whiplash injury. Muscles often become damaged as a result of counterforce, especially where individuals anticipate an accident and tense up their muscles in response. Where muscles are tense, they are more vulnerable to counterforces than if they are relaxed. Accordingly, if an individual grips onto a steering wheel bracing themselves for an accident, muscle injuries to the neck, shoulder and arms can arise. Additionally, shoulders, arms and wrists can become painful from the tension in the neck and back that is commonly caused by a whiplash injury. It can take weeks or even months for this pain to develop after a crash.
Dr. Barr at West Coast Wellness has dedicated his career to helping individuals who experience upper limb pain after a car accident. Dr. Barr provides chiropractic and medical treatment for relief from accident pain, including whiplash, herniated discs, shoulder injuries, sciatica and headaches. West Coast Wellness can help you overcome your upper limb pain after a car accident. Call us at (941) 210-3969 to find the solution to your pain problems.