Truck drivers often suffer from back issues, but shoulder injuries are a close second. Injuries to the shoulder cuff can take a long time to heal and may cause the end of a truck driving career. Shoulder injuries require five times more than the amount of missed work days from back injuries, according to Orthopedic Nursing. Because of the nature of shoulder injuries, it is important to deal with any pain or limitations right away. Putting off a visit to your company’s doctor may worsen the problem.
Cause of Shoulder Injuries
Your shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body. That flexibility also means it is especially prone to injury, as it dislocates easily. The shoulder joint consists of the humerus and the scapula, or the upper arm bone and shoulder blade. The rotator cuff muscles are attached to the rotator tendons, just off the shoulder joint. These are the muscles, as the name suggests, that allow the shoulder to rotate, as well as move the arms from side to side. They also aid in keeping the joint stable by keeping the head of the humerus in the glenoid socket. Between the rotator cuff muscles and the larger, outer shoulder muscles lie the bursae, sacs with lubricating fluid located between two moving areas.
The constant vibration of the truck is one contributing factor for shoulder injuries, as is the wear-and-tear due to getting in and out of the vehicle, cranking gears, moving tarps, and lifting freight. Drivers who pull flatbeds and spend more time using tarps and chains are at greater risk. In all drivers, the right shoulder is most often affected, since it the one used for gear shifting.
Shoulder Injuries and Surgery
Unfortunately, many shoulder injuries do not respond to simple rest. Many require surgery, especially if the rotator cuff is torn. Repetitive motions may also tear the labrum, a cartilage ring around the shoulder. Both injuries are painful and make sleeping difficult.
Rotator cuff surgery may require up to six months to heal, with a great deal of physical therapy involved. The recovery period depends on the size of the tear, among other factors. Recovery from labrum tear surgery may take three months or more, depending on the severity of the tear and other factors. While recovering from either type of surgery, it is crucial not to push yourself too hard and risk re-injury.
Camden County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Truck Drivers Seek Benefits
If you are a truck driver who has been injured on the job, you need the services of an experienced Camden County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at DiTomaso Law. Fill out our online form or call 856-414-0010 to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and proudly serve clients throughout the state.