Workers who have jobs requiring repetitive movement sometimes suffer what is known as a rotator cuff injury. Workers in construction, painting and carpentry are at risk, but this type of injury can happen to anyone in a physical job.
Unfortunately, people who sustain rotator cuff tears at work sometimes don't take the injury seriously. They might assume the pain will go away in time, and they can get back to work. Make no mistake: This is a serious injury that could mean the end of a career. According to OrthoInfo, a rotator cuff tear can lead to pain and disability and limit the ability to take care of routine activities, such as getting dressed or combing hair.
What is a rotator cuff injury and what are the symptoms?
As OrthoInfo illustrates, the rotator cuff is comprised of the group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Without a rotator cuff, you would be unable to lift and rotate your arms. Typically injuries are classified as partial tears, also known as an incomplete tears. The tendon is damaged, but not completely severed. The other type of injury is a full-thickness tear, or complete tear, when the tendon separates from the bone.
The most common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include:
- Pain while at rest and when lying on the injured shoulder
- Pain when trying to raise or lower the arm connected to the impacted shoulder
- Weakness in the shoulder
- Crackling sensation when moving the impacted shoulder
- Difficulty picking up items
See a doctor immediately, even if the injury seems like no big deal
A rotator cuff injury can be deceptive. Sometimes, the pain may start off as mild. You may only notice it when you lift your arm over your head. The pain may go away temporarily after taking aspirin, ibuprofen or some other pain reliever.
With time, however, these types of injuries can lead to more noticeable pain that lingers, even after taking medication. Left untreated, the injury could get worse and become more debilitating.
If you have any symptoms, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. A doctor can examine your shoulder. You may need an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If the rotator cuff tear diagnosis is confirmed, you may need physical therapy. In some cases, rotator cuff injuries require surgery.
Why you need an attorney to help with the claim
Even if the injury is determined to be minor, you may need to file a workers' compensation claim and take time off to recover. While you may think it's a straightforward process, your employer or the insurance carrier may try to downplay your injuries. They may argue that you were involved in an activity outside of work that contributed to the injury.
As experienced workers' compensation attorneys, we know all the tactics insurance companies use to minimize a claim.
That's why you should trust us at O'Malley & Langan to handle your claim. Contact us today to get started.