Shoulder injuries are common in car accidents and fall incidents. These injuries can range from contusions and swelling to bone fractures and the tearing of muscles and ligaments. Regardless of the initial severity of the injury, another very painful and serious condition can develop: frozen shoulder.
What Is a Frozen Shoulder Injury?
A frozen shoulder can develop after a traumatic injury or an overuse injury to the shoulder joint. The initial injury causes pain that, in turn, leads to an immobilization of the shoulder that limits its range of motion. Sometimes, this is necessary for rest and recovery, but at other times, it is the byproduct of the person's avoidance of movement causing pain.
If the shoulder is not moved for an extended time period, the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint thickens, shrinks, and becomes rigid. In this condition, whenever there is new movement of the joint, the range is reduced and it is painful, leading to even less movement of the shoulder joint. With lesser movement, the tissues become thicker and more rigid, thus reducing the range of motion even more and causing pain whenever there is movement. This vicious cycle causes the shoulder to ultimately become immovable, or at least immovable without accompanying pain.
A frozen shoulder can take months to develop, and the best preventative treatment method is physical therapy. With this condition, it's essential that the therapy focuses on the range of movement and stretching, more so than strength. Surgery to relieve a frozen shoulder may be required. This is a painful and devastating physical condition that can take up to six months or more for a full recovery.
This is an example of why it is necessary to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer after an accident, so that there is no rush to resolution of your claim before you are fully compensated for all your injuries. The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC has handled cases involving a wide range of injuries, and our team is uniquely familiar with physical injuries that develop after car accidents and falls.