6 Common Shoulder Injuries in Missouri Workers’ Comp Claims

Many tissue structures (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) attach to the shoulder, and any of them can be injured.

This article will discuss six common shoulder injuries that may lead to a workers’ compensation claim.

st. louis worker with a shoulder injury

Rotator Cuff Tear

The Rotator Cuff (RC), otherwise known as the SITS muscle, is a group of muscles that connect to the arm bone (humerus). They help stabilize, raise and rotate your arm. The RC can be torn by falling on an outstretched hand or repetitive overhead motions, such as throwing or lifting/pulling heavy objects using your shoulder.

Symptoms: Pain, limited range of motion, or weakness in your shoulder when raising or rotating the arm. You may also experience a throbbing sensation at night, especially if you sleep on the injured side.

Labral Tear

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint. It can be damaged by overstretching or repetitive motion. Labral tears are common in workers who perform overhead motions on the job, including construction laborers and warehouse employees.

Symptoms: Pain and loss of shoulder strength. You may also feel like your glenohumeral joint is popping or grinding.

Biceps Tendonitis/Tear

The biceps tendon is the tissue that connects the upper arm bone to the shoulder. Biceps tendonitis is often caused by repetitive overhead motions, such as those done when painting or using a power tool. A tear in the biceps tendon can occur when one falls onto an outstretched arm.

Symptoms: Popeye sign, sharp pain, swelling and weakness in your shoulder, snapping sensation when moving your shoulder, etc. 

Shoulder Fracture

A shoulder fracture is a break in one of the bones that make up your shoulder joint. This can result from a fall or forceful impact, such as a forklift accident.

Symptoms: Pain and swelling in the shoulder area. You may also notice your arm is hanging lower than usual.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) 

This condition causes stiffening of the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint and surrounding tissue (capsule) due to inflammation. It can result from repetitive motion, especially if you aren’t warming up properly beforehand. Frozen shoulder is also common in people with diabetes or those who recently had surgery on their arm or shoulder.

Symptoms: Pain when moving your shoulder, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

Impingement Syndrome

This condition causes irritation and inflammation of the rotator cuff. It’s most common in workers who perform repetitive overhead motions, such as painters or carpenters.

Symptoms: Pain when reaching overhead, weakness in the arm, and decreased range of motion. 

St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

If you’ve sustained a shoulder injury at work, contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffman to discuss the workers’ comp benefits you may be entitled to. We have years of experience handling workers’ comp claims and can evaluate your case for free.

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Updated: February 16, 2022