Complaints of shoulder pain are pretty much a part of our daily lives, and are a possible outcome of many reasons. One of the most common reasons is car accidents. Car accidents involve the suffering of sudden jerks and the neck and the shoulders are often badly hurt. With the increasing number of careless or drunken driving cases, car accidents and shoulder pain have become a common phenomenon. Shoulder pains resulting from car accidents are categorised as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD). We can commonly define Whiplash as a medical condition that occurs, when due to a sudden jerk, the head moves forward and then backward or vice versa, very quickly. Because there is a sudden snapping of the head both ways, neck and shoulder injuries are widespread in whiplash patients.

The effects of whiplash caused due to car accidents start within or after a few hours of the actual accident. The muscle spasm, ligament damage and inflammation causes the acute pain. The tissues become soft and even if no bones are broken in the accident, the pain is severe and persistent. Shoulder pains start out from the affected muscles and spread to the shoulder blade and even radiate down the arm. In severe cases of whiplash, there might be fractures or even torn muscles. Whatever be the case, car accidents and shoulder pain resulting from it, merit a thorough osteopathic diagnosis.

The worst part about the lesser whiplash injuries is that, since the injuries are not clearly visible, they tend to be underestimated and neglected. Some common symptoms of whiplash caused by car accidents include stiffness and neck pain, shoulder pain and pain between the two shoulder blades, headaches, dizziness, pain in the lower back, irritability and fatigue, pain/ numbness in the arms, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears among others.

Issues related to car accident injuries are best addressed by osteopathic or physiotherapy practices. Physio is best for those seeking rehabilitation, after suffering a car accident. These therapies combine manipulation, various physical therapies and exercises, ergonomic changes and other suitable changes to a person’s lifestyle, to facilitate the process of recovery for patients of car accidents and shoulder pain. The treatments are orthopedic based and aim at normalizing the mechanical body functions. Unlike the past, when whiplash injuries were treated with immobilization by wearing a stiff cervical collar, doctors nowadays encourage early, gentle movements. Other more common treatments of whiplash include wearing of soft collars intermittently, heat therapy for relieving stiffness and muscle pains, pain and anti inflammatory medication, application of ice, traction, muscle relaxants along with physiotherapy and other suitable exercises. Treatments, and how long they are to be continued, are prescribed only after detailed check up and diagnosis. Shoulder pain can be significantly improved by following some simple exercises, like those highlighted in my book “Exercise your Shoulder Pain Free”.