Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of a personal injury. This is why it is so important to see a doctor if you suspect that a recent injury may have its roots in the workplace. Here is a look at frozen shoulder and its frequent connection to the workplace.
What is frozen shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint, and it occurs when the capsule of bones, ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint thickens and becomes tight. You can typically identify frozen shoulder by stiffness and pain that worsen gradually until you can no longer physically move your shoulder. It is linked to a variety of causes and is most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.
How can it stem from the workplace?
Again, it is highly important to make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you might be developing frozen shoulder, and your doctor can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your condition. With that said, here is a brief look at frozen shoulder causes as they relate to the workplace.
Trauma after a fall
One of the most common causes of frozen shoulder is trauma following a serious fall—and falls are perhaps the most common type of injury-inducing accident to occur in the workplace. A fall can occur on slippery ice, on a slick floor, or even when there is simply a small object on the floor in a high traffic area. A fall can lead to frozen shoulder if, for example, you put your arm out to brace your fall as you are falling.
Recovery from another injury
Falls are not the only type of injury that can cause frozen shoulder. Workers might also develop frozen shoulder if they recently underwent shoulder surgery or suffered an arm fracture and as a result had to keep the arm immobilized for an extended period of time.
Another common cause of frozen shoulder is simply overuse of the shoulder joint. This can easily happen in the workplace when work involves a great deal of physical movement—particularly heavy lifting and repetitive overhead work. Occupations in industries such as construction and warehouse work are especially susceptible to seeing this type of overuse injury. You do not, however, need to have an especially physically demanding job to be susceptible to developing frozen shoulder. Workers at the busy Calais sea port in France, for example, were recently awarded compensation after developing what they called “Calais shoulder,” after repeatedly leaning out of their booths to check visitor passports.