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Shoulder sprain: From diagnosis to rest

A shoulder sprain can lead to quite a bit of pain and discomfort, as well as an extended period of rest. Even if you don't use your shoulders often at your place of employment, such as to lift heavy items, you could still suffer this type of injury at some point.

If you have reason to believe you're dealing with a shoulder sprain, don't hesitate to seek medical attention. Your doctor will examine both shoulders, as it gives him or her the opportunity to compare the injured one with the healthy one.

While your doctor is looking for many things, he or she will pay close attention to any bruising, swelling or shape differences in the area. Your doctor will also check for range of motion, while also asking about your pain level when moving the area.

If there is reason to believe you are dealing with a severe shoulder sprain, an X-ray, MRI and/or, CT scan may also be necessary.

The period of rest following a shoulder sprain is based largely on the grade. For example, a Grade I sprain should heal on its own within two weeks. However, if you have a Grade III sprain, it's not common to find yourself out of work for a month or longer.

If your medical team suggests you stay away from work while your injury heals, don't hesitate to learn more about the workers' compensation system. Your shoulder sprain may put you in position to receive benefits, allowing you to collect money until you can return to work and once again earn your full salary.

Source: Harvard University, "Shoulder Sprain," accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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