Shoulder Pain

Pain experienced in the shoulder joint can be the result of a number of injuries or conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendon tears
  • Impingement
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Shoulder Fractures

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint and has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Because of this unique range of motion, the shoulder joint is at particular risk of injury or degenerative problems. The bones of the shoulder are:

  • Humerus (upper arm bone)
  • Clavicle (collar bone)
  • Scapula (shoulder blade).

The head of the humerus bone (the ball) is lined with cartilage that glides over the shoulder socket (also known as the “glenoid cavity”). The clavicle attaches the shoulder to the rib cage and holds the shoulder out from the body. The scapula is a large triangular bone located on the back side of the upper body, and it is connected to the clavicle through the acromioclavicular joint.

In the shoulder socket, the humerus sits like a golf ball on a tee, supported by a complicated arrangement of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that attaches four shoulder muscles to the upper arm. These tendons help keep the humerus bone in place within its shallow socket and ensure that the arm moves freely within the joint.

Frozen shoulder - a painful condition that limits some movement in the shoulder joint and can sometimes prevent movement in the shoulder altogether.

Rotator cuff issues - the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to keep it stable.

Shoulder instability – where the shoulder is unstable and has an abnormally wide range of movement, called hypermobility.

Acromioclavicular joint disorders – conditions that affect the acromioclavicular joint, which is the joint at the top of the shoulder between the clavical (collar bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade).

Osteoarthritis in the shoulder joints - damage to the cartilage (protective surface of the bone) and swelling of the tissues in and around the joint.

A broken (fractured) bone, such as a fracture of the humerus (upper arm bone) or broken collarbone.

Shoulder dislocation - a dislocation is an injury that occurs when the top of the arm bone becomes disconnected from the scapula.

Labral tear - the shoulder joint has a cuff of cartilage called a labrum that forms a cup for the humerus to move within.

Biceps tendonitis – (sometimes called bicipital tendonitis) inflammation in the main tendon that attaches the top of the biceps muscle to the shoulder.

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