Did you know the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body? It is also one of the most commonly injured parts of the body When this joint is damaged, the symptoms a worker experiences can be disruptive to their everyday lives and can keep them from doing their jobs.
Symptoms & Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Symptoms depend on the cause of the damage to the shoulder, but may include:
- Weakness in the arm
- Nerve pain
- An inability to move the joint
These symptoms should never be ignored and anyone experiencing these abnormal sensations should consult a physician as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
The majority of all shoulder pain is caused by four main issues:
- Inflammation of the tendons (bursitis and tendonitis)
- Chronic – this type of issue leaves the patient with constant pain.
- Acute – usually caused by a specific incident and may resolve with treatment after a period of time.
- An instability in the joint.
- A broken bone.
Treatments Frequently Used
In order to get their patients relief, doctors often recommend:
A Change In Activity
Your doctor may inform you that you will no longer be able to participate in certain activities – including ones that are required for you to do your job. This may be temporary or permanent.
Surgery is often recommended for dislocations, tears in the tendon, and rotator cuff issues. A surgery may be “open” involving a large incision, or it may be done arthroscopically. Either way, the patient usually requires an months of recovery time.
Pain medications can be used to reduce the amount of inflammation and pain in the joint.
How Do I Know If I Might Be At Risk For A Shoulder Injury?
Occupations in which workers are commonly diagnosed with a shoulder injury include:
- Airline Workers
- Assembly line workers
- Bus and cab drivers
- Cable installers
- Carpet installers and cleaners
- Computer personnel
- Construction workers
- Data entry clerks
- Dry cleaners
- Drywall workers
- Emergency medical technicians
- Factory workers
- File clerks
- Landscapers and gardeners
- Nursing Home Workers
- Office personnel
- Police officers
- Professional athletes
- Warehouse workers
Won’t Workers’ Compensation Cover My Medical Expenses?
Whenever someone is injured on the job they are entitled to file for compensation through workers’ compensation insurance. The difficulty with claiming shoulder injuries lies in the cause of the injury. Acute shoulder injuries that are caused by an accident like being struck by a falling object, a car accident, or a slip & fall accident are easily proved. Many shoulder injuries, however, are caused by repetitive motion over time. These injuries are frequently contested by the insurance company and sometimes the employer.
How Can I Prove Repetitive Motion Caused My Injury?
The first thing you should do is go to a doctor who is approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board. They can help determine the cause of your injury and indicate that cause in your medical records. Then you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you document the conditions in your work environment which contributed to the injury.
I’ve Received A Denial – What Should I Do?
Receiving a denial letter is one of the most upsetting experiences that anyone who has been hurt on the job can have. Denial letters are typically sent because the insurance company believes that:
- your injury was not sustained while working
- your injury is related to a pre-existing condition
- there is a dispute regarding when the injury actually occurred
- a physician has indicated that you are not disabled because of your injury
- there is a question of whether or not you were actually injured.
This decision can be appealed, however, although the appeal process can be a long and arduous road. The first thing you should do is consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who can handle the appeals process for you.
How Can An Attorney Help Me?
A workers’ compensation attorney can speak with the insurance company to determine the reason for the denial, work to gather the evidence needed, contact witnesses to your accident and take statements, and obtain medical experts to testify on your behalf.
In many cases, your appeal will be heard before an administrative law judge. This is similar to a court trial and your attorney can help to prepare you for the hearing, as well as represent you before the judge.
If the initial appeal is denied, the matter can be taken further to another appeals board.