How to Avoid Shoulder Injuries at Work

Your shoulder is comprised of three bones…

your collarbone, your shoulder blade, and the humerus, the bone that makes up your upper arm. These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which allow for a wide range of motion in your arm. However, all that movement also makes your shoulder joint one of the most vulnerable to injuries. In fact, shoulder injuries are some of the most common workplace injuries, particularly for people who work in manual labor jobs. Read on to learn more about the risk factors for shoulder injuries and how you can avoid them.

 

Risk Factors for Shoulder Injuries

There are a few key risk factors that make you more likely to develop a shoulder injury at work. First of all, if your job requires you to perform the same motions over and over again — such as lifting objects or typing on a computer — leave you susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. These kinds of injuries usually develop over time and can become chronic pain conditions if not treated properly. Additionally, if you work in a job that requires you to twist or reach overhead frequently, you may also be at risk for a shoulder injury. Other risk factors include being pregnant (which can cause added stress on your shoulders) and working in cold temperatures (which can lead to muscle stiffness and inflammation).

How to Avoid Workplace Shoulder Injuries

So what can you do to avoid developing a shoulder injury at work? First of all, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors so that you can take steps to minimize them. If your job requires you perform repetitious motions, take frequent breaks throughout the day to give your shoulders a rest. If possible, try to vary the types of motions you’re doing as well; for example, if you’re typing on a computer all day, take a break every few hours to walk around or stretch. Additionally, good posture is important in preventing shoulder injuries; make sure you’re sitting up straight and not hunching over your work. And finally, be sure to stretch and warm up before beginning any physical activity at work — this will help prevent muscle strains.

 

  1. Use proper body mechanics. This means avoiding excessive reaching, lifting objects that are too heavy, and keeping your shoulders relaxed while working.
  2. Take regular breaks. Breaks will help reduce fatigue and allow your body to rest between periods of physical activity.
  3. Use assistive devices when possible. Things like lift tables, hoists, and conveyors can help take some of the strain off of your shoulders by making it easier to move heavy objects around.
  4. Stretch before and after work. Stretching helps improve range of motion in your joints and muscles, which can help prevent injuries.
  5. Get treated for any underlying conditions that may increase your risk for developing a shoulder injury, such as rotator cuff tendinitis or bursitis.

A close up of a model skeleton's shoulder muscle and bones to emphasize the parts of the shoulder that can be injured in a workplace shoulder injury

Shoulder injuries are some of the most common workplace injuries, but there are steps you can take to avoid them.

If you’re aware of the risk factors and take precautions to avoid them — such as taking breaks often, stretching before physical activity, and maintaining good posture — you can help keep your shoulders healthy and free from pain.

Your shoulders are susceptible to injury – even if you don’t have a physically demanding job.

To reduce your risk of developing shoulder problems:

  • use proper form when performing any type of physical labor at work,
  • take regular breaks throughout the day,
  • and stretch before starting work each day.

If you do end up with a shoulder injury, make sure to see a doctor right away so you can start treatment as soon as possible.

If you’re experiencing any shoulder pain, don’t wait to seek treatment. We have locations all across Southern California, so there’s sure to be one close by. You can schedule an appointment with us by filling out this form on our website. We also now offer texting services! Give us a call or text to schedule an appointment today at (714) 367-5390.

 

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization. We offer a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has a variety of locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit Healthpointe.net.

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