In short, the shoulder joint consists of three main bones within a complex ball-and-socket joint. To explain, each of the three bones is held in place by tendons, muscles, and ligaments. However, there are many parts of the shoulder. So, shoulder injuries are more likely to happen in many different ways. Thus, a shoulder injury at work is very common.
If a shoulder injury at work happens, the worker should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Whether the injury is permanent or temporary, a settlement is offered. However, their total compensation varies based on several factors. For example, these factors include the cost of lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
Anatomy of the Shoulder
To start, the shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body. Also, it is one of the most prone to injury. The shoulder joint is made up of three bones:
- Scapula: connects to the thoracic vertebrae. The scapula is a triangular-shaped bone that is located in the upper back and can be felt on either side of the spine.
- Clavicle: connects to the sternum. The clavicle is a long, thin bone on either side of the chest. In fact, the collarbone is made up of two halves called the clavicles. Oftentimes, it’s used as an anatomical reference point.
- Ball-and-socket joint: connects to the humerus. A ball-and-socket joint is a joint that allows for a wide range of movement. Plus, it is made up of a rounded head of one bone fitting into a cup-shaped depression in the other. Further, this type of joint is found in the shoulder, hip and at the base of the thumb.
Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder is the most movable joint in the human body. In fact, it has a ball and socket joint, which allows it to move in all directions. Thus, the shoulder is one of the most flexible joints in the body. But this also makes it susceptible to injury.
For example, the most common causes of shoulder injuries are:
- Acute trauma: This includes any sudden injury to the shoulder such as a fall or collision with another person or object.
- Repetitive trauma: This includes any injury caused by repetitive movements such as throwing a baseball for too long.
- Overuse: This includes any pain and discomfort caused by doing an activity for too long without taking a break from it, such as carrying heavy objects on one side of your body for too long.
The most common treatment for shoulder injuries is:1) Rest: This includes a break from the activity that caused the injury and any physical therapy to relax and heal the body. 2) Ice: This includes placing an ice bag on various parts of your shoulder to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.
This article will look at some common causes of shoulder injuries and how a worker’s compensation settlement can help those who have been injured on their job.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
In general, a shoulder injury at work involves the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In fact, workers who perform intense, repetitive tasks are prone to shoulder pain and injuries. Also, a worker can either have an acute injury. Or their shoulder pain may develop over time. So, here are the most common types of shoulder injuries at work:
- Dislocated Shoulder: To start, the shoulder is the mobile joint in the human body. So, it is prone to dislocation. A shoulder is dislocated when the upper arm bone comes out of the cup-shaped socket. Unfortunately, complications of a dislocated shoulder are Bankart lesions and labral tears. Usually, this type of shoulder injury at work causes tingling down the arm or near the injury area, weakness, and numbness. Further, it may be clear to see that the shoulder is out of place. Also, a dislocated shoulder is generally very painful and prevents the person from moving the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tears: In short, the rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. Its purpose is to keep the upper arm bone firmly inside the shoulder socket. In most cases, workers who do repetitive overhead tasks for their jobs are prone to this type of shoulder injury at work. Oftentimes, rotator cuff tears cause a dull pain deep within the shoulder. In addition to that, a person may have a hard time reaching behind their back. Or they may have weakness in their arm.
- Arthritis: This medical condition happens when a bone’s smooth outer covering wears down over time. Further, the cartilage roughens as it breaks down. Plus, the protective space between the bones decreases. As a result, the bones rub against each other when the person moves, which causes pain. Sometimes the pain is intense. Sadly, the most common symptom of arthritis in the shoulder is pain. Also, the range of motion in the shoulder is limited. When the shoulder moves, you can hear and feel a clicking or grinding. Finally, arthritis of the shoulder usually causes pain during the night.
- Frozen Shoulder: This type of shoulder injury at work is also known as adhesive capsulitis. In general, frozen shoulder is characterized by the shoulder joint being both stiff and in pain. Usually, symptoms start slowly, over a time frame of 1 to 2 years. Then it gets worse over time. To treat frozen shoulder, there are surgical and nonsurgical options. The type of treatment someone receives depends on the severity of the injury. Ultimately, the goal is to regain maximum range of motion and reduce the pain.
Shoulder Injury at Work Settlement
If you obtain a shoulder injury at work, you must notify your employer and then seek medical treatment. Also, you should talk to a workers’ compensation attorney about your case. To ensure you get your needed benefits, you must follow these steps.
Ultimately, the type and severity of your shoulder injury determines your settlement. If you have any trouble with your case, including a denied claim, contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera.