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Repetitive stress may lead to shoulder injuries
Repetitive motion injuries that affect the shoulders are fairly common. The shoulder is made up of a complex arrangement of ligaments and tendons, and the joint can easily become dysfunctional if any part of the musculature or structure is off-balance.
Repetitive injuries to the shoulder may happen when the shoulder is used in the same manner over and over again, which leads to strain and exhaustion, rotator cuff tears and stability issues.
What are the signs of repetitive stress injuries to the shoulder?
Depending on the kind of repetitive stress injury it is, there may be different symptoms. For example, someone with a rotator cuff tear may have pain, soreness and tenderness around the shoulder. If the tendon has already ruptured, then they may not be able to lift their arm at all. It may be painful to sleep on the arm as well.
Strains are usually marked with a sudden loss of flexibility and increase in pain. This is a little different than arthritis, which sees an increase in pain but not necessarily with limited motion.
Frozen shoulder is another common repetitive stress injury that may result from scar tissue forming after an injury. When that happens, the shoulder may not be moved as easily or at all without treatment (usually NSAIDs, physical therapy or cortisone shots).
What should you do if you have signs of a repetitive stress injury?
If you believe that you have a repetitive stress injury, it’s a good idea to talk to your employer about seeing a medical professional. Workers’ compensation should cover your initial appointment or emergency care. After that, you will need to make a claim if you need to go through physical therapy or other treatments. If you have to miss work, you may be able to claim for a portion of your lost wages, depending on the specifics of your case.
If you have the symptoms of a shoulder injury, it’s in your best interests to get your shoulder examined as soon as you can. Many repetitive stress injuries respond well to physical therapy and noninvasive treatments during their early stages, but tears or serious injuries may need more care.