Shoulder injuries are among the most debilitating a person can experience. They occur for a variety of reasons and vary in severity. When they happen as the result of work accident, injured employees may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits while they recover.
A strong impact to the joint can cause a shoulder injury. An employee can also fall on their shoulder causing serious injury. Lifting heavy objects also causes shoulder injuries. Shoulder injuries are very common for firefighters, for instance, because the job requires them to carry heavy objects including hoses, ladders, and even people. One of the most common causes of shoulder injury is repetitive movement, especially reaching overhead to perform a job task.
The first sign of a shoulder injury is usually pain occurring anywhere from the neck down to the fingers. The individual might also feel numbness or tingling in the area or have a limited range of motion. Shoulder injuries are generally categorized as “instability” or “impingement” injuries. Instability injuries happen when pain is caused by shoulder joints that are out of alignment. Impingement injuries happen when shoulder muscles rub up against the top of the shoulder blade.
Most shoulder injuries affect the victim’s tendons, ligaments, and muscles. However, fractures of the shoulder bones can and do occur. Common on-the-job shoulder injuries are dislocation, nerve damage, bursitis, tendinitis, and damage from overuse and repetitive movements. Rotator cuff injuries are among the most severe and often require surgery and extensive physical therapy.
Employees susceptible to repetitive motion shoulder injuries can reduce their risk by using equipment that is ergonomically designed and by taking frequent breaks. When a worker injures their shoulder in a fall accident or other hard impact to the body, it is important he or she seeks medical attention as soon as possible. Dismissing the symptoms and continuing to work can further aggravate a shoulder injury.
Regardless of the severity of symptoms, those who suspect they have suffered a work injury should notify their employer immediately and seek care. Failure to document an injury promptly can jeopardize a worker’s right to Workers’ Compensation benefits and may also result in further injuries and prolonged recovery.
Treatment for shoulder injuries varies depending on the extent of the damage. Some doctors prescribe steroid treatments or medication. Other injuries to the shoulder require physical therapy and even surgery. Workers’ Compensation benefits help to replace lost wages and cover costly medical expenses so the injured worker can focus on his or her recovery.
Employees suffering a work injury or illness are entitled to certain benefits by law. Failing to properly file a Workers’ Compensation claim for your injury can prevent you from getting the benefits you deserve while you are out of work. Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your Workers’ Compensation case. Call our Philadelphia office at 267-589-0090 or contact us online to get started right away. Jeffrey S. Gross and his team proudly serve workers throughout the greater Philadelphia area.