Many people have shoulder problems after they are in a car accident. The trauma to your shoulder joint due to the high impact of a car crash can cause a variety of shoulder injuries, including bursitis. Bursitis in the shoulder is essentially an inflamed shoulder bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with fluid that helps to reduce friction in the shoulder. It is common for the bursa sac to be damaged in a car accident.

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint with three major bones, which are held in place by tendons, ligaments and muscles. The shoulder joint usually has the greatest range of motion in your body. Because of the range of motion, this joint is more easily injured than others.

After a car accident, if you have pain in the shoulder, this is a warning sign that you should have it checked out right away. Some of the common types of pain that can indicate a serious shoulder injury, including bursitis, are:

  • Tingling, weakness, numbness and swelling in the shoulder
  • Shoulder pain in a certain spot that can get worse when you exert yourself
  • Difficulty moving the arm in any way without pain
  • Sudden, serious pain in your shoulder
  • A pale, blue or discolored shoulder

One of the common types of shoulder injury after a car accident is frozen shoulder. This is where the injury from the car accident leads to pain and inflammation that eventually limits your ability to move the joint. It is common for bursitis to form in the shoulder after a car accident and cause this limited range of motion.

If you stop moving the shoulder much for several weeks due to bursitis, the tissue in the shoulder will get thicker and shrink. This will cause pain and make you move the shoulder less. This is a vicious cycle that can lead to long term disability.

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