People who suffer from shoulder injuries know just how pervasive the pain can feel throughout the body. From dull aches to sudden stabs of pain, a sore shoulder can make it very difficult to lift the arm – which then leads to overcompensation by other body parts. Moreover, the pain resulting from a shoulder injury often continues to worsen and intensify unless and until the injured person receives proper medical treatment.
A Bit About Shoulder Injuries
Some types of shoulder injuries include tendonitis, bone spurs, and strains and sprains of the muscles and ligaments. Many of these WEAR and TEAR™ injuries impair movement and, in many cases, eventually lead to a more severe injury, such as a torn rotator cuff.
The rotator cuff is made up of a series of tendons and muscles that essentially keeps the arm attached to the shoulder. It is responsible for helping to rotate and lift the arm as well as overhead reaching. Therefore, a partial or complete tear of the rotator cuff can be very painful and greatly reduce the arm’s range of motion.
Is Your Shoulder Injury Caused or Exacerbated By Your Job?
Some workplace shoulder injuries are caused by acute and sudden incidents, like a fall. However, many of these injuries are WEAR and TEAR™ in nature because they occur through overuse over a period of time.
In some instances, rotator-cuff tears and other shoulder injuries directly result from on-the-job tasks and duties. As with other types of WEAR and TEAR™ injuries, the repetitive and frequent use of the upper arms and shoulders over lengthy periods of time can lead to significant degenerative damages to the muscles and ligaments.
There are some job duties and body motions in particular that tend to cause or exacerbate various shoulder injuries, including rotator-cuff tears. These types of actions are performed many times throughout the day, every day, week after week. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Heavy and/or awkward lifting, especially overhead lifting
- Straining to reach overhead
- Twisting and/or bending of the upper body
- Pulling, pushing and/or carrying heavy loads (such as building materials and pallets)
- Chopping wood
- Quick and forceful pulling (such as pulling starting cables)
- Slouching while sitting at a desk/working on the computer
Possible Treatment Options
Some shoulder injuries can significantly, if not completely, improve through rest and/or physical therapy. Some injuries, especially rotator cuff tears, may require surgery to repair the affected muscles and tendons; and it is not uncommon for this type of surgery to result in a recovery period of up to several months.
Connecting Your Shoulder Injury to Your Job
As with all workers’ comp injuries in New Jersey, in order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, you must sufficiently demonstrate that your injury is work related. In some instances, such as when a sudden accident causes a broken leg, it is relatively easy to connect the injury to the job. In other situations, such as when a WEAR and TEAR™ shoulder injury develops or worsens as a result of employment, it is more difficult to establish the connection.
Don’t let that scare you, or deter you from seeking the benefits you deserve! Remember, an employee who suffers or exacerbates an injury on the job is entitled to workers’ comp benefits, regardless of whether the injury is acute or WEAR and TEAR™.
Do Not Be Afraid to Address Your Work-Related Shoulder Injury. Contact Us Today!
Have you suffered or exacerbated a WEAR and TEAR™ shoulder injury that you believe was caused by your work duties? If so, you should not take any chances trying to handle the matter without counsel. At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, we specialize in helping individuals with WEAR and TEAR™ injuries receive the medical treatment and other benefits to which they are entitled. We can help!!