An estimated 7% of people in the UK suffer from some form of shoulder pain, according to the British Society for Rheumatology. A lot of shoulder injuries are caused by accidents at work, industrial disease, road traffic accidents and slips and trips. Shoulder injuries can be extremely debilitating and have a severe impact on the sufferers day-to-day like. If you have suffered a shoulder injury following an accident that wasn't your fault then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. For more information on how Cute Injury could help, get in touch now...

How much compensation for a shoulder injury?

Like all injuries, shoulder injury compensation payout amounts depend on factors such as the severity of the injury and the effect it has had on the injured party's day-to-day life as well as their ability to continue to work. There are some guidelines we can use though to give you an idea of how much compensation you could be awarded for your shoulder injury:

Shoulder injury compensation amounts*

Minor soft tissue injury with almost complete recovery:

  • Within 3 months: A few hundred pounds – £1,860
  • Within a year: £1,860 – £3,300
  • In less than 2 years: £3,200- £5,800

  Moderate shoulder injury (i.e. frozen shoulder/soft tissue injury lasting over 2 years): £6,000 to £9,700 Serious shoulder injury (i.e. dislocation/permanent symptoms/sensory symptoms): £9,700 to £14,600 Severe shoulder injury (i.e. damage resulting in significant disability): £14,600 to £36,500  

Different types of shoulder injury

There are three main parts of the shoulder that can suffer an injury: the bones that make up the shoulder, the rotator cuff and the brachial plexus. Shoulder bones: The three main bones of the shoulder are the the 'scapula', which is commonly referred to as the 'shoulder blade', the 'humerus' and the 'clavicle'. Rotator cuff: This contains muscles, ligaments and tendons and is an essential part of the shoulder which joins it to the upper arm. Brachial plexus: This contains a collection of nerves that run from the spine and into the neck and arm. Whiplash injuries commonly feature damage to the nerves within the brachial plexus. There are lots of different ways you can injure your shoulder, some common types of shoulder injury include:

  • Shoulder dislocation: The injury occurs with a fall or blow that causes the top of your arm bone to come out of the shoulder socket
  • Separated shoulder: The injury occurs with a fall or blow and tears one of the ligaments that connects the collarbone to shoulder blade but does not directly affect the shoulder joint
  • Frozen shoulder: This occurs when the sleeve surrounding the shoulder (the 'capsule') swells and thickens
  • Rotator cuff tear - This most commonly occurs as a tendon tear due to overuse
  • Slap tear: This generally occurs due sports related activity.
  • Nerve blockages: Damage to the brachial plexus can result in severe pain

 

How to make a shoulder injury compensation claim...

If you have suffered an shoulder injury that wasn't your fault, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To learn more about how Cute Injury can help, get in touch below:

Top causes of shoulder pain

Shoulder pain can be very uncomfortable for sufferers, and can deeply affect your day to day life. Everything from sitting and laying to walking and working is impacted by a shoulder injury, so it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In order to get fast and effective treatment, you need to first of all identify the exact cause of your shoulder pain. Below we have outlined the most common causes of shoulder injury...

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability occurs when the ball and socket joint of the shoulder does not function properly.  This is experienced as a feeling of slipping or catching when moving the arm and can also cause the shoulder to dislocate. Symptoms include a feeling of numbness, weakness or tiredness in the shoulder and a clicking, locking or popping sensation when moving it. If the shoulder dislocates, pain is usually severe, with the arm appearing to sit visibly at the wrong angle and sometimes painful muscle spasms are also present.

Rotator Cuff  and Tendon Disorders

The rotator cuff is a collective term used to describe the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping it in the correct position as it moves through its range of motion. Because the rotator cuff is made up of so many different muscles and tendons, symptoms and the locality of pain associated with rotator cuff disorders can vary greatly.  However, common signs of this disorder include:

  • pain when you move your arm above your head
  • pain when you move your arm sideways away from your body in an arching motion
  • pain on the front and side of your shoulder
  • pain during the night

  Rotator cuff disorders can take a number of forms.  The most common are tendonitis, bursitis and tears:

  • Tendonitis or Bursitis

This is characterised by a swelling of the tendon or bursa and is usually caused by overuse.  The swelling can cause the tendons or bursa to become trapped between bones, known as "impingement".  This can sometimes lead to tearing.

  • Tears

When a tear occurs in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder, this usually results in pain and weakness in that area.  Tears are more common in over 60s as tendons weaken with age.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, occurs when there is a thickening or swelling of the flexible muscle tissue around the shoulder joint.  This condition has become known as frozen shoulder due to the feeling of tightness and restriction sufferers report feeling in their shoulder. The symptoms of frozen shoulder can manifest very differently from one person to the next, but can include pain and reduced range of motion.  This can result in difficulty or inability to carry out simple, everyday tasks, such as dressing yourself or carrying out household chores.  Symptoms typically worsen over a number of months or years and the condition is more common in people who have sustained previous injuries to the shoulder area, diabetes sufferers or those with an overactive thyroid.

Acromioclavicular Joint Disorders

This joint is found at the very top of the shoulder (not the ball and socket joint previously mentioned).  There are three main causes of acromioclavicular disorder:

  • dislocation
  • osteoarthritis
  • tearing of ligaments

  Common indicators that you might have an acromioclavicular disorder include pain at the top of the shoulder or in the joint and a reduced range of motion.   People most at risk of this kind of disorder include those who play contact sports or who have sustained shoulder injuries in the past.

Exercises for shoulder pain

Although pain in your shoulders can be extremely sore, most cases go away on their own within about two weeks. If your shoulder pain does not subside after two weeks, you should seek medical advice.  However, in the meantime, there are methods of treating your shoulder pain at home. You can take painkillers, apply topical treatments and perhaps most importantly, begin a regime of simple exercises to help strengthen your shoulder area and prevent injuries from occurring in future.

Painkillers

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets and these should help you to go about your daily activities with more comfort. If you find that your normal painkillers aren’t as effective against your shoulder pain, try acetaminophen.  Acetaminophen is also available over the counter but it works differently from other painkillers by diminishing your brain’s ability to perceive pain. Most of the time, it is not advised to take painkillers before exercise as they can mask warning pains that alert you to injury. However, if you’re suffering with shoulder pain, taking your painkillers before performing strenuous daily activities may mean you experience less discomfort. Take the painkillers half an hour before engaging in the activity, but be careful not to overwork or strain your muscles.

Ice Treatments

Applying ice to the affected area may help alleviate symptoms. Apply the ice pack to the area of pain and leave it in place for twenty minutes.  Now remove the ice pack for ninety minutes.  You can repeat this procedure as many times as you like but never apply ice for more than 20 minutes as this can cause further damage.

Exercises

Door Press Stand in a doorway, leaning against the door jamb with both arms positioned slightly above your head. Lean forward slowly until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds. Perform 3 repetitions. (Note: do NOT perform this exercise if you have a shoulder impingement). Pendulum Stand by a chair with your hand resting on the back. Let your other arm drop down and allow it to swing gently backwards and forwards and around in a circular motion. Perform 5 repetitions, 3 times a day. Door Press 1 Position yourself in a doorway with your elbow bent at ninety degrees and your wrist touching the jamb. Try to push your arm outwards as though you were trying to push the door frame aside. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 10 repetitions on each side. Beginning from the same position, but with your palm facing the door jamb, push towards the door frame. Hold for 5 seconds and perform 10 repetitions on each side. Shoulder Stretches Slowly and gently stretch out your shoulders. Raise your shoulders squeezing them up towards your ears. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together pressing them backwards. Finally, push your shoulders down, lowering them as much as possible. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat the sequence ten times.   * Information taken from Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases – 13th Edition. – please note that these figures are for guidance only and the compensation that you receive may be outside of these guidelines.

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