Your shoulders are composed of large muscles that regularly exert themselves when carrying, lifting, pushing, and pulling, all movements you will do countless times over your lifetime.
Because of the extent of its use, shoulder injuries are commonplace.
‘Shoulder’ is a colloquial term used to describe a four jointed system:
- Linking the shoulder blade (scapula) and upper arm (humerus) is the glenohumeral joint. The muscles surrounding this structure are known as the rotator cuff.
- Connecting the collar bone (clavicle) and scapula is the acromioclavicular joint.
- Joining the clavicle and breast bone (sternum) is the sternoclavicular joint.
- Finally the so-called ‘virtual joint’ between the chest wall and scapula.
Shoulder injuries will typically involve these joints and any surrounding musculature, specific damage to elements of this system will limit specific ranges of motion. The shoulder is actually capable of a broader range of motion than any other part of the body, able to assume approximately 1600 different positions. Unfortunately, this carries with it a resulting instability that often results in injury.
Most Common Shoulder Problems
The most common shoulder problems are:
- Rotator cuff disease
- Rotator cuff tear
Shoulder injury symptoms typically include shoulder pain, shoulder weakness, a stiff shoulder and shoulder joint instability. Shoulder pain and shoulder injuries frequently occur due to trauma or sporting overuse.
The symptoms and treatment of shoulder problems vary, depending on the type of problem.
Physiotherapy treatment and advice can dramatically improve the treatment and prevention of shoulder pain.