neck shoulder pain signs accident

Neck Vs. Shoulder Pain: Signs of Each Following Car Accident

Many areas of our body are closely connected and may even share many issues or pain problems when they take place, and a good example of this interplay is between the neck and shoulders. These two areas of the body are directly connected and also serve as support for the spine — but there are situations where what we perceive as shoulder pain may actually be due to an issue in the neck, and vice versa.

At Peterson Chiropractic, neck and shoulder pain are some of the most common issues we deal with when providing whiplash and other auto injury chiropractic treatment services following any kind of car accident or other trauma. What are some situations where neck or shoulder pain might be presenting themselves in ways that make their source tougher to identify, and how can you go about doing so? This two-part blog will go over a number of important areas, including how to relieve pain in both areas depending on the issue.

The Body Isn’t Always Reliable in Reporting Pain

While this may seem strange to some people, it’s a simple reality that the human body is not always very good at identifying where it is feeling pain, and can also present pain as being in a completely different location than where the issue actually exists. It’s important to be aware of the fact that your body might not always be accurate in how it presents you with information regarding pain or injuries, especially after a traumatic event like a car accident.

In addition, because the neck and shoulders are connected via multiple nerve pathways, pain in one can easily be presented as pain in the other, or vice versa. It’s important that you work closely with your doctor or chiropractic during injury recovery to ensure that your body is properly recovering and healing following an accident like this.

When Shoulder Pain Is the Issue

Here are some likely signs that you have a shoulder issue, possibly in the rotator cuff or a similar area:

  • The pain develops either in the shoulder itself or in the outside of the upper arm
  • Pain is dull and aching, and occurs when you reach overhead, behind your back, or while lifting
  • Pain is felt in your upper arm, but not past your elbow
  • Pain persists at night, but improves when you rest your arm

When Neck Pain is the Issue

On the flip side, there are 14 nerves and eight pairs of joints in the neck that may lead to pain in some cases. Some of the possible signs of neck issues causing your pain include:

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder blade or close to the side of the neck
  • Pain is stabbing, burning, tingling or even has the feeling of an electrical shock
  • Pain radiates all the way down the elbow, often even into the hand
  • Pain continues even when the arm is being rested, and radiates down the arm when you extend or twist your neck
  • Pain may be relieved when you support your neck properly

In part two of our series, we’ll go over what to do next if you’re feeling any of these symptoms, whether following a car accident or any other related issue. For more on this or any of our car accident chiropractic treatments, speak to the staff at Peterson Chiropractic today.

Peterson Chiropractic is led by Doctor Bradley Peterson, who grew up in Davis County and attended the University of Utah.