So many Illinois workers lift things and that leads to a lot of injuries. The back is the most common problem, but a close second is an injury to your shoulder.
Not taking care of that shoulder injury could make your life much more difficult than it needs to be. The original injury may not heal properly, but also you could be causing further damage. If your shoulder hurts so badly it’s almost impossible to move at this point, you may have a condition called frozen shoulder which is also known as adhesive capulitis.
After an injury, slowly and over time, scar tissue starts to build up in the capsule that holds your shoulder bones together. As that scar tissue builds up, it makes it more difficult for you to move your arm correctly. It may even hinder you from preforming your job requirements. Typically, an injury like this will go through a few stages. You may develop pain in your shoulder that gets worse at night. Over time, this may go from pain to stiffness causing you to have a very hard time getting through your day. Eventually it maybe come impossible for you to move your shoulder at all.
Your doctor will be able to help you with anti-inflammatory medications and maybe something to help with the pain. They will also help you with physical therapy and stretching exercises. If these things don’t help, you may require surgery to fix the problem. Surgery used to be risky for frozen shoulder, but lately we’ve seen it replaced by arthroscopic surgery in which tiny cuts are made in the shoulder to loosen it up. This has lead to mostly good results for our clients and others who have had the procedure.
If the original injury was a result of an on the job injury or repetitive motions while you are working such as lifting, your injury and frozen shoulder maybe covered by workers compensation. It can happen in any industry, but we see it a lot with construction and warehouse jobs. Amazon workers seem to be at great risk for this problem. Let your doctor know up front that you have a job that requires repetitive motion, or if you had another accident at work that caused the shoulder injury.
The recovery time can be a few months to a few years depending on how severe the problem is. Our best advice is to do the following:
- Get medical treatment right away.
- Get referred to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder injuries (we can make a recommendation if needed).
- Be very aggressive in your therapy and don’t do things at work or in your spare time that can potentially aggravate the problem.
- Whether you had an accident at work or think the problem is developing due to all the repetitive lifting you do, make sure to report the problem to your employer right away.
- If you do get a lawyer make sure you talk to them about their experience handling frozen shoulder cases. It’s a somewhat unique injury, certainly not as common as rotator cuff tears. You want a lawyer who understands the medicine to be in your corner.
And of course, if you want to talk to a lawyer about this, for free, contact us for a free consultation. We cover work injuries for every part of Illinois.