Work Right does its best to give constant education on injury prevention and tips on how to stay safe and healthy at work and at home. Our goal is to keep you working and prevent injuries! Aside from the inconveniences that come with shoulder pain (disruptions to sleep, pain with every day tasks from lifting to washing your hair, and inability to continue with normal work tasks), injuries are expensive! Let’s break down a common workplace injury to give you some perspective. This week’s injury type – the shoulder injury.

Costs of Shoulder Surgeries

The shoulder injury is one of the most expensive types of injuries to repair (along with the back and knee). Let’s take a look at some costs:

•  Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery: The average arthroscopic shoulder surgery cost in the US is $25,925. Prices can range from $6,900 to $31,650. The cost for this surgery can be affected by whether it is performed as an inpatient or outpatient surgery.

•  Shoulder Repair Surgery: This surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed to diagnose and treat shoulder issues like torn rotator cuff, torn labrum, and tendinitis. The national average for this surgery is $19,500 (with a range of $6,500 to $41,300).

•  Rotator Cuff Surgery: Another minimally invasive procedure to repair a torn tendon. The national average rotator cuff surgery costs $21,800 (with a range of $8,400 to $56,200).

Alarmed yet? These costs are definitely not pocket change and don’t say anything to the point about how many days away from work you’ll need to recover OR the additional cost of rehab. The National Safety Council reports shoulder injuries result in an average of 28 days lost from work.

Prevent That Injury!

Hopefully, the cost of surgery and the time away for recovery spark a new motivation for the prevention of the injury outright. Here are some tips for you to proactively prevent a shoulder injury:

•  Always warm-up and warm up!
◦ Apply heat to shoulder muscles prior to exercise (i.e. take a warm shower 10-15 mins before exercising).
◦ Keep arm below shoulder height while doing arm stretches.
◦ Gradually increase movements during shoulder warm-ups.

•  Increase shoulder strength.
Strength and flexibility are needed in the rotator cuff muscles. Strengthening exercises can help stabilize the joint.

•  Cross train.
Our core also helps stabilize our shoulders, so making sure you strengthen other areas of your body like your spine is important too.

•  Rest.
If you notice pain during a certain activity find an alternative exercise to take the load off the injured area. This doesn’t mean you stop moving your shoulder.

•  Change your sleeping position.
If you lay on your side, avoid lying on your injured shoulder. If you sleep on your back and it irritates your shoulder, prop your arm up with a pillow.

Knowing the principles of being PREPARED, will help to prevent injuries and stay at work. Treat your body like you matter-you only get one in this lifetime.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!