The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder in place. If these structures become torn, inflamed, or injured, it could have debilitating consequences. Construction workers and those in the manufacturing industry are at particularly high risk of developing a rotator cuff injury, since they must lift heavy loads and work with their arms over their heads on a daily basis. This puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint, which could lead to a rotator cuff tear.
What Causes Rotator Cuff Injuries?
The most common cause of rotator cuff injuries is repetitive strain. Lifting heavy objects, reaching in front of you or behind your back, and working with your arms above your head regularly can put tremendous strain on your shoulder joint. When the tendon becomes strained, it may tear partially or completely, causing a rotator cuff injury. Sudden accidents, such as slipping and falling or being struck by a heavy machine, can also cause a rotator cuff injury at work.
What Are the Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries?
The symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:
- Pain in the shoulder joint
- Weakness of the affected arm
- Difficulty reaching over your head or behind your back
- Trouble sleeping at night due to pain
- Painful popping, clicking, or grinding sounds when you try to move your arm
A rotator cuff injury can be debilitating. You may not be able to raise your arms, hold heavy objects, or move comfortably. Whether your injury occurred due to an accident, or it was caused by repetitive strain while performing work duties, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Rotator cuff injuries can worsen over time. Most rotator cuff injuries can be diagnosed with a physical examination and an x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI scan. Once diagnosed, treatment includes in-home remedies such as ice packs and anti-inflammatory pain medication, as well as physical therapy. Surgery may be needed in severe cases.
How Can I Prevent a Rotator Cuff Injury?
A rotator cuff injury can cause long-term damage, and may require extensive medical treatment. That is why it is important to take steps to prevent a rotator cuff injury in the first place. In order to increase your safety and reduce your risk of a rotator cuff injury, there are several steps you need to take.
- Use ergonomic equipment. Ergonomics is the science of creating a work space to maximize the comfort and safety of workers. By using ergonomic lifting equipment and machines, you can avoid unnecessary stress on your arms and shoulders.
- Pay attention to posture. Proper posture is important to reduce the strain on your arms, back, neck, and shoulders. Whether you are sitting at a desk all day or working on an assembly line in a factory, you need to always pay attention to your posture. Using good posture can help you avoid injuries from bending down, lifting heavy loads, or reaching overhead.
- Take breaks. It is important to take breaks regularly, and to avoid staying in the same position for hours at a time. Your muscles and tendons need to relax, and taking a quick break can help prevent a rotator cuff injury.
- Stretch and strengthen your muscles. Strengthening the muscles in your back, neck, arms, and shoulders can help prevent a rotator cuff injury. You will be less likely to strain your shoulder joints when lifting heavy objects or reaching overhead. Furthermore, stretching your arms and shoulders throughout the day can help release tension and increase flexibility.
Call The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC Today at (770) 741-2825.
At The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we are passionate about helping injured workers seek financial relief. If you have suffered a rotator cuff injury or other type of injury at work, we will help you file a claim and walk you through the legal process. With our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys on your side, you can receive attentive legal services every step of the way.
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