Every occupation comes with its share of risks and hazards. However, one of the most common occupational hazards across multiple industries is an injury to the shoulders.
Like most workplace injuries, shoulder injuries are painful and can diminish a worker’s ability to perform their jobs. If you sustain shoulder injuries at work, you may be eligible for financial restitution through workers’ compensation.
But how do shoulder injuries happen at work?
To better explain work-related shoulder injuries, you need to start by understanding your shoulder’s anatomy. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the shoulder blade (scapula), the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (upper arm bone). These bones are connected by ligaments, muscles and tendons that facilitate the movement of the shoulder joint.
Despite its complex nature, certain work-related activities can lead to shoulder injuries. Here are some of these activities:
Pushing and lifting
Generally, a worker relies on the power of the shoulder to lift heavy objects. However, repetitive pushing and lifting, especially in construction sites and warehouses, can result in wear and tear of the ligaments and tendons that connect the shoulder joints. When this happens, the worker may sustain rotator cuff injury or tendonitis.
Uncomfortable work posture
Some occupations, like painting and roofing, require workers to work overhead or in tight spaces. These uncomfortable work postures can exert excessive pressure on the shoulder muscles and tendons leading to chronic shoulder pain.
Repetitive shoulder movements
Tasks like packing, typing and stacking require the worker to move their shoulder repetitively. If this happens over an extended time period, the worker’s shoulder can experience inflammation, strain or sprains that can be very painful. In extreme cases, the worker can experience catastrophic tendon damage.
Depending on the severity, a shoulder injury may require several hours of therapy to treat. And this costs money. Find out how you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim if your shoulder is hurt at work.