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Common Shoulder Injuries in the Workplace


Shoulder injuries are unfortunately all too common in the workplace. This type of injury can occur due to a variety of reasons, including repetitive motions, overexertion, improper lifting techniques, and accidents.

The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body, allowing for a wide range of motion. However, this also makes it susceptible to injury. Work-related shoulder injuries can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to perform their job and can result in lost productivity, increased medical costs, and even long-term disability.

It’s good to familiarize yourself with some of the most common shoulder injuries in the workplace and how to prevent them.

Rotator Cuff Tears

A rotator cuff tear is a tear in one or more of the tendons that attach the four muscles of your rotator cuff to your shoulder blade. These tears can be caused by a single traumatic event, like falling on your outstretched arm, or from repetitive lifting or raising your arm. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, weakness, and difficulty raising your arm.

Warm up before any physical activity to reduce the chance of tearing a rotator cuff. You should also use proper lifting techniques and take frequent breaks to rest your shoulder. If you suffered from this injury, don’t hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can receive compensation even if you think the injury was your fault.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that provides cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder. Bursitis can be caused by repetitive motions, like overhead lifting or throwing, or by direct trauma to the area.

You can prevent bursitis by adding stretching and strengthening exercises into your daily routine and taking regular breaks to avoid overuse. If an injury occurs regardless, be sure to report it to your supervisor as soon as possible.

Shoulder Dislocation

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the upper arm bone pops out of the socket in your shoulder blade. Dislocations can be caused by an injury, like a fall or blow to the shoulder, or by excessive rotation or force to the joint. Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include severe pain, swelling, and loss of motion. If you experience a dislocated shoulder, seek medical attention immediately.

You can prevent shoulder dislocation by avoiding sudden or excessive movements and maintaining proper posture.


Shoulder fractures can occur when a bone in your shoulder is broken. These can be caused by a sudden injury or by repetitive stress on the bone. Symptoms of a fractured shoulder include severe pain, swelling, and bruising.

Use proper lifting techniques and wear protective equipment to help reduce the risk of a shoulder fracture. If you suffer this injury regardless, immediately seek medical attention.


Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon, which connects muscle to bone. It can be caused by overuse or repetitive motion, like throwing a baseball or lifting boxes overhead. Symptoms of tendinitis include pain, swelling, and stiffness.

To prevent tendinitis, avoid repetitive motions that put strain on the shoulder and incorporate stretching exercises into your daily routine.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help

At Smolich and Smolich, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a shoulder injury can have on an individual. That's why we are dedicated to helping individuals with their workers' compensation claims after a workplace shoulder injury.

Our team of experienced and compassionate attorneys has helped countless individuals navigate the complex world of workers' compensation. We know the ins and outs of the system and will work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.

When you need help with workers’ comp, contact Smolich and Smolich today.