It may not seem like it but some of the most common work injury and disease involve shoulders. Often this is due to repetitive work and heavy use of arms and shoulders. A previous article discussed common shoulder injuries that lead to a worker’s compensation claim. This article will provide more common shoulder injuries leading to workers compensation claims.
Some common shoulder injuries in worker’s compensation claims include the following:
- Frozen shoulder - the medical term for frozen shoulder is ‘adhesive capsulitis’[Frozen shoulder - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic]. It is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness, to the point of inability of movement, in the shoulder joint. The cause of frozen shoulder is when the shoulder capsule thickens. In some cases, this happens from developing scar tissue or tissue adhesion. In the early stages of frozen shoulder, the symptoms are mild and may include general aching and sharp pain when one moves their shoulder. As the stages progress symptoms are characterized by a decrease in the range of movement of the shoulder, pain and difficulty when it comes to doing basic daily activities. When appropriate treatment is administered the symptoms lessen and shoulder activity returns to normal. However, this may take months to occur. It has been noted that symptoms of frozen shoulder can stay for years after treatment has been administered. It is often linked with an acute workplace injury.
- Shoulder arthritis and joint instability - Arthritis involves significant wearing of supportive tissue and cartilage found in the shoulder; when the loss of cartilage is significant the bones of the shoulder joint may become unstable. Shoulder joint instability refers to the looseness in the shoulder joint; which is, a ball and socket joint. To paint a clear picture of joint instability the ball begins to slip in the socket and unfortunately, at times it can dislocate totally.Shoulder joint instability can be a result of wear and tear over time, however, in some cases it can be caused from a sudden work injury that damages shoulder tissues and ligaments. In severe cases treatment may include partial or total joint replacement surgery.
It is important to note that when it comes to a worker’s compensation claim and shoulder injury the issue of causation is a key component in the case. Shoulders are an important part of the human body; however, they tend to wear down over the years as a result of various daily activities. As such, when a shoulder injury or condition occurs that is not traumatic in nature it may be challenging to determine whether a contributing factor is work activity.
Typically, when the injured employee’s work duties require repetitive shoulder joint activity, especially overhead movements, there is a high chance of shoulder injuries or conditions being linked to their work activity. Thus, work activity forming a basis for causation. However, when the injured individual has no prior shoulder symptoms before a work-related accident but becomes symptomatic thereafter, then under law, the workplace accident provides a causal connection.
Shoulder injuries are complex in nature specifically because we use our shoulders often. For legal advice in your worker’s compensation claim speak to Ak compensation lawyers [https://www.crowsonlaw-wasilla.com/workers-compensation/] today.