Rotator cuff injuries are very common among painters, athletes, warehouse workers, stock workers, laborers and construction workers. If your job involves reaching or lifting objects overhead, you are high risk for a rotator cuff injury. Every year, more than four million Americans seek treatment for rotator cuff injuries.
Rotator Cuff Injury
Rotator Cuff Injuries are the most common cause of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff refers to the muscles and tendons that surround the main shoulder joint. The muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff allow the arm to rotate and move up and down. The rotator cuff supports the shoulder joint and keeps it stable. Rotator cuff injuries are caused by overloading, overuse, or fatigue. Rotator cuffs may also be injured in an accident or in a fall. Common rotator cuff injuries include:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis or Shoulder Tendonitis
Rotator cuff tendonitis occurs when a tendon in the rotator cuff becomes inflamed. This is usually due to overuse of the shoulder.
Pains may be mild and intermittent at first but pain becomes intense and more frequent over time. It may spread to the arm and shoulder. If untreated, the pain will get worse.
It is important that rotator cuff tendonitis not be ignored. Rotator cuff tendonitis can be treated with rest, hot and cold therapy, physical therapy, compression, massage therapy, cortisone injections and surgery. If rotator cuff tendonitis becomes chronic, the tendons will become progressively weaker. Complications may develop such as rotator cuff tears and shoulder impingement syndrome.
Rotator Cuff Tear
Rotator cuff tears occur for several reasons:
1. Untreated rotator cuff tendonitis
2. Trauma from a fall or accident
3. Overloading of the tendon when lifting a heavy object overhead
4. Forceful movement of the arm
Symptoms of rotator cuff tears include:
- Acute pain
- Decreased strength
- Difficulty or inability to raise the arm overhead
- Pain at night when sleeping on side
Surgery is often the best option when rotator cuffs are torn by trauma from a slip and fall or accident. However, surgery may fail if the tear is due to chronic overuse. In this case, long term physical therapy may be required.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
When tendon's become inflamed, the rotator cuff tendons can become compressed in the narrow space between bones in the shoulder joint. Symptoms include mild pain that becomes intense when the arm is raised overhead or lowered from an overhead position. The shoulder may become weak.
Treatment includes physical therapy, rest and surgery.
Sometimes the bursa (fluid sacs that help with movement of joints) can also become compressed. This can cause intense pain and infection of the bursa.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, see your doctor. Work-related shoulder injuries are covered by New York Worker's Compensation. Immediate treatment can prevent chronic and disabling shoulder injuries.
If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury as a result of a work-related accident and have questions about how to obtain medical care or receive your Workers' Compensation benefits contact the New York workers' compensation attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman, PC. The initial consultation is free. Contact Markhoff & Mittman today at 866.205.2415
Learn more about applying for New York Workers' Compensation. Download our free book: "5 Deadly Sins That Can Derail Your New York Workers' Compensation Case - Avoid Them and You May Have a Shot at Receiving Benefits!" To learn more about shoulder injuries, download our free report "For Your Health - The Disability Guys Guide to Your Shoulders".