Shoulder Impingement and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law
The shoulder consists of three bones—your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The top of your upper arm bone (shaped like a ball) fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. While strong ligaments keep the “ball” centered in the socket, your rotator cuff muscles (which also cover the upper arm bone) allow you to lift and rotate your arm. Issues with any part of these areas can cause you to experience pain in the shoulder.
The shoulder has an incredible range of motion and is actually the most flexible joint in your body. And given the number of everyday activities it’s involved in it’s easy to see why shoulder pain is something to take seriously and no surprise that there are many Illinois workers’ compensation cases for shoulder problems caused by repetitive activities.
There are several factors and conditions that can contribute to shoulder pain. One of the most common cause of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement syndrome. This is where the rotator cuff gets caught between the acromium (part of the scapula that covers the ball) and humeral head (the ball portion of the humerus). When you pull, rotate or pull an object, your rotator cuff acts as the powerhouse. Repetitive use can make it more susceptible to injury. You don’t realize it typically until it’s too late, but doing the same thing over and over can cause major problems.
Shoulder impingement may be related to certain repetitive lifting movements, or tasks with frequent overhead reaching movements. Physical work, heavy lifting, non-stop twisting at the shoulder places workers at risk for shoulder pain. Many professions such as carpenters, painters, warehouse staff, nurses and retail staff are at risk of such workplace shoulder injuries.
While we don’t give out medical advice and encourage you to see a doctor right away if you are having any pain, signs of this in the cases we’ve seen include having problems reaching over your head, pain when lifting your arms up and general shoulder and arm soreness.
Many people fail to realize that a shoulder impingement is an injury that can become dangerously chronic, affecting the quality of life for years to come. This form of shoulder injury can happen to anyone and can be caused in many ways. Injuries can range from discomfort to debilitating, and greatly impede a worker’s range of motion and ability to perform job duties. In the worst case scenario you won’t be able to work again or will have to change careers. As a result, getting treatment before the problem gets out of hand is important.
If you think your job contributed in any way to your shoulder problems, you would have an Illinois work comp case.
by Mike Helfand
Courtesy of Illinois Workers Compensation Law Blog
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This article originally appeared here