Skip to Content

Common Shoulder Injuries That Give Rise to a Workers’ Comp Claim

Office executive holding his shoulder in pain at his desk.

Shoulder injuries are common in a wide range of industries, including in jobs that may be considered to involve less manual labor such as retail or office work. Shoulder injuries can be particularly serious, as the shoulder and arm may need to be immobilized or a worker may need to limit use of their shoulder and arm until the injury heals.

Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries at Work

Work-related shoulder injuries are most frequently caused when workers are required to lift heavy objects for work. Other common causes of shoulder injuries on the job include:

  • Falls
  • Non-ergonomic positioning of workstations or being required to perform awkward arm movements
  • Repetitive stress, or making the same arm and shoulder motion over and over for hours on end during a shift
  • Vibrations from power tools or motorized equipment

Types of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries come in many different types that range significantly in severity. Some shoulder injuries are minor and heal on their own with rest. Other more serious shoulder injuries may require physical therapy or even surgery. Some of the most common shoulder injuries that may occur because of work include:

  • Bursitis: The shoulder joint is made up of a collection of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These structures are cushioned by tiny fluid-filled sacs called bursae. Bursitis is a medical condition where the bursae become inflamed, which can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness of the shoulder joint, potentially to the point where the joint becomes effectively disabled. Treatment for bursitis includes cortisone injections or medications to reduce the swelling, rest, and sometimes physical therapy. More serious cases may require surgery to help drain the bursae.
  • Broken bones: The bones that make up the shoulder joint can also suffer fractures due to an impact or due to stressful forces on the joint. Sometimes a fracture can be treated by immobilizing the joint and allowing the bones to heal. However, for compound fractures or fractures where bone fragments break off, it is necessary to perform surgery to reconstruct the bone.
  • Dislocation: A dislocation involves the arm dislodging or being pulled out of the shoulder socket. In some cases, the arm can be put back in place and the arm/shoulder immobilized to allow tissues to heal. However, more serious cases of shoulder dislocation can result in muscle, tendon, and/or ligament tears, or damage to nerves and blood vessels.
  • Impingement: A shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff is rubbed between the top of the humerus (bone of the upper arm) and the top of the shoulder, which can cause tissues to become inflamed and narrow the space, which can cause significant pain and loss of motion.
  • Rotator cuff injury: In some cases, the rotator cuff can become torn, which typically leads to chronic pain, weakness, and trouble raising the arm above the shoulder. A partial tear may be treated with physical therapy, although more serious injuries usually require surgery.

Getting Workers’ Comp for a Shoulder Injury

If you have suffered a shoulder injury on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer that include:

  • Payment of your medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Partial wage replacement if you cannot work or have reduced income while on part-time/light-duty
  • Permanent disability benefits, which provide payments if your shoulder and arm become permanently impaired from an injury

Contact a Freehold Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Workplace Injury Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured due to a workplace accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer of JFM represent clients injured in Freehold, New Brunswick Toms River, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (934) 200-5372 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 82 Court Street Freehold, NJ 07728, as well as offices in Toms River and New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.