If you work in an airline’s baggage service office, you undoubtedly lift heavy bags every day. The same is probably true if you work on the ramp. While practicing safe-lifting techniques may reduce your chances of suffering an on-the-job injury, you can never eliminate the risk.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the rotator cuff is the collection of muscles and ligaments that encase your shoulder. Not only does your rotator cuff allow you to lift objects, but it also facilitates the upward movement of your arms. Sadly, rotator cuff injuries are not exactly rare for baggage handlers.
How do baggage handlers suffer rotator cuff injuries?
Some work-related injuries develop slowly over time. That is usually not the case with rotator cuff injuries, however. In fact, if you suffer a rotator cuff injury, your injury is likely to be an acute and immediate one. Your normal job duties, such as lifting, throwing and pulling luggage, may strain, stretch or tear the muscles and ligaments in your shoulders.
How does a rotator cuff injury affect job performance?
As a baggage handler, you must be able to handle bags. If you have a rotator cuff injury, though, you may experience sharp pain even when lifting light objects. You may also be unable to reach above your head or behind your back. Likewise, because sleeping may be uncomfortable, you may simply be too drowsy to work.
How do doctors treat rotator cuff injuries?
Your treatment plan and prognosis may depend on the type of rotator cuff injury you suffer. For minor injuries, muscle relaxants and ice may be the appropriate fix. If you have a tear to a muscle or ligament, however, you may need surgery and rehabilitation to recover completely.
Ultimately, because you may not be able to work until your rotator cuff injury heals, promptly applying for workers’ compensation benefits may give you the financial resources you need to make ends meet.