Rotator Cuff Injuries - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Man Filling Out a Workers' Compensation Claim Form

Rotator cuff injuries can be incredibly painful. They affect workers in a variety of industries, and could be caused by repetitive strain or by sudden accidents. Painters, carpenters, and construction workers are at particularly high risk for rotator cuff tears because they have to lift heavy loads and work with their arms above their heads on a regular basis.

The Anatomy of a Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder in place. If the rotator cuff becomes partially or completely torn, it will hinder movement in the shoulder and cause pain. Rotator cuff injuries include inflammation, impingement syndrome, and rotator cuff tears. Impingement syndrome is also known as tendonitis in the shoulder area. It occurs when the tendons become inflamed and impinged by bones in the shoulder joint. Over time, the rotator cuff can actually become torn.

Causes of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Repetitive motions are a major cause of rotator cuff injuries in the workplace. Reaching overhead, lifting heavy objects, or making repetitive arm movements can cause the tendon to become strained and torn. Even having improper posture can put unnecessary strain on the shoulder joint, leading to a rotator cuff injury. Furthermore, sudden slip and fall accidents or trauma to the shoulder joint could cause a rotator cuff injury.

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injuries

The symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Pain in the shoulder joint
  • Weakness
  • Immobility
  • Disturbed sleep due to shoulder pain
  • Difficulty reaching behind you or over your head
  • Dull aching sensations
  • Popping or clicking in the shoulder joint

If not treated, the rotator cuff injury could grow worse. This may lead to a permanent loss of movement and degeneration of the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injuries are often diagnosed by a physical examination, as well as x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds.

Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Applying cold packs to the affected shoulder, taking anti-inflammatory pain medication, and doing physical therapy may help restore movement and flexibility in the joint for a minor injury. Steroid injections could also provide a short-term solution to the pain. For complete rotator cuff tears, surgery may be required to reattach the tendon to the bone. In severe cases, tendon transfer or shoulder replacement may be necessary.

If You Have Suffered a Rotator Cuff Injury at Work, Call Our Glendale Attorneys Today at (818) 946-0608.

At the Law Offices of Wax & Wax, we provide diligent representation to clients who have suffered on-the-job injuries and illnesses. If you have been injured, it is important to notify your employer, see a doctor, and file a claim as soon as possible.

We offer free consultations to all prospective clients. Contact us today to get started.

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