Thousands of Americans suffer shoulder injuries every year. What’s more, a large number of shoulder injuries occur at the workplace.
And like most workplace injuries, these injuries are painful and often make it impossible to perform routine work duties. Here’s a closer look at four of the common causes of shoulder injuries in the workplace and what you should generally do when you suffer a work-related shoulder injury.
How Do Work-Related Shoulder Injuries Occur?
To best understand shoulder injuries, you need to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a shoulder joint. Your shoulder has three bones; the scapula (shoulder blade), collarbone (clavicle), and upper arm bone (humerus). In between these bones, there are connecting ligaments, tendons, and muscles that aid in the movement of the shoulder joint.
While the shoulder has a complex, strong structure, different work-related activities make it weak and susceptible to wear and tear injuries. Here are common work activities that cause shoulder injuries:
1. Lifting and Pushing
Naturally, when lifting heavy objects, you rely on your shoulders for support. However, repetitive lifting or pushing heavy objects, such as in a warehouse or construction site, may take a toll on the tendons and ligaments connecting the three shoulder joints and cause catastrophic tendonitis or rotator cuff injury.
2. Awkward Working Postures
Some workers, such as roofers, glaziers, or painters, work overhead or in tight spaces. Undoubtedly, these awkward working positions are tiring and painful and may put massive pressure on the shoulder muscles and tendons. They may also cause chronic shoulder pain and limit your ability to perform even simple tasks.
3. Repetitive Movement
Some tasks such as typing, packing, and picking up objects require you to use your shoulders repetitively. Unfortunately, as these repetitive tasks are performed over a long period, they cause shoulder joint inflammation or sprains and strain on the tendons and muscles that hold your shoulder bones together. In extreme cases, these strains can lead to catastrophic muscle and tendon rupture.
4. Powered Machinery
Construction workers, factory workers, and transportation workers are prone to vibration-induced shoulder injuries from using powered machinery regularly. While the effects of vibrations from powered machinery may start as mild pain, they may worsen over time and affect the usual layout of shoulder ligaments, tendons, and bones.
What Are Your Rights?
Shoulder injuries often require extensive treatment and numerous appointments with a physiotherapist. This can mean time away from work, which may affect your finances and, in tragic cases, end your career.
Therefore, notify your employer and seek medical attention right away to ensure your situation doesn’t worsen after a shoulder injury. Next, with the help of an experienced St Louis work injury attorney, file a workers’ compensation claim. Your attorney can help you with the paperwork, gather concrete evidence, and ensure your case is on the right track.
Speak With a St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer
You don’t have to endure the aftermath of a work-related shoulder injury alone. At The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we have compassionate attorneys who can help ensure your rights are protected after a work injury. Give us a call 24/7 for a free consultation.
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