Shoulder Impingement and Workers’ Compensation
Shoulder impingement is a condition where the top of the bone on your shoulder rubs the bursa and tendon in the joint.
One of the most common causes of shoulder pain comes from impingement. Shoulder impingement is a condition where the top of the bone on your shoulder rubs the bursa and tendon in the joint. This is not typically from a work related accident, but rather a repetitive injury that builds up over time.
If you have developed this condition as a result of your occupation, you are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits for the treatment of the pain and therapy to reverse the condition. If this requires you to miss days of work, you should also be able to recover some of your wages. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we will help you understand exactly the type of workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
Which Missouri Workers are Susceptible to Shoulder Impingement?
Shoulder impingement occurs from constant lifting of heavy boxes or materials, or from performing activities over your head for long lengths of time. This puts construction workers, factory workers and painters at greater risk for developing the injury. Any occupation where you are putting added strain on the shoulder joint over and over again could cause this painful condition.
How is Shoulder Impingement Diagnosed?
Common symptoms of shoulder impingement include swelling and tenderness at the front of the shoulder. Pain and stiffness will also be apparent when you lift your arm and then lower it back down. If you lift heavy materials daily at work, or are required to extend your arms over your head for long periods of time and are experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis.
A doctor will check your shoulder first for any signs of injury, and then have you perform range of motion tests to see how extensive the injury is. Expect him or her to move your arm in several different directions as well as perform strength test. If he or she suspects shoulder impingement based on the exam and an account of your work duties, they may order an MRI to confirm their diagnosis.
What Should You Do if Diagnosed With Shoulder Impingement?
If you did not file a work injury report with your supervisor before the diagnosis, you need to do so immediately following your doctor’s visit. Don’t be surprised if you are then sent to a different doctor who works within your company’s workers’ compensation insurance network.
Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, you should be able to receive all necessary treatment with no out of pocket cost to you. If you disagree with the opinion of the referred to physician, or with his or her treatment plan, you have the right to appeal those decisions. This would be a good time to contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann to find out what your next step should be.
Treatment for Shoulder Impingement
The first thing a doctor will typically do is to prescribe you pain and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling in the area. You will also be likely put on restrictive duties at work, not able to perform any activities that require shoulder movement. If your employer is unable to find a suitable substitution for you, you may have to stay home and receive loss of wage benefits.
Physical therapy or steroid injections are often used to help treat the underlying cause of the pain, but if not successful then surgical intervention may be necessary. Be sure that you are keeping your employer informed during your treatments, and let them know of any changes in the plans.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Shoulder Impingement
There are certain occupations and work related activities that can be directly traced to the development of shoulder impingement. If you fit that description, then your employer should be responsible for the cost of your treatments, medications and loss of wages. If questions arise or if they prematurely stop your benefits before the treatment has been completed, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300. We have handled dozens of work comp cases involving shoulder impingement. Contact us to ensure that you are being fairly compensated for this, or any other, work related injury.