Common Shoulder Problems

Bones of the shoulder

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that connects the upper arm to the body. The bone of the upper arm is called the humerus. The head of the humerus is a round shaped ball that fits into a socket in the scapula or shoulder blade. The bones are protected by cartilage and joint fluid that provide a smooth surface for the bones to move.

Conditions that can affect the Bones

  • Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-thry-tis)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (ROOM-uh-toyd)
  • Traumatic Arthritis
  • Fracture
  • Shoulder Dislocation

Muscles and ligaments of the shoulder

The shoulder joint is held in place by ligaments (bands of tissue) and muscle. The muscles most commonly associated with shoulder problems are a group called the rotator cuff. This important group of muscles is necessary for normal shoulder joint function and serve to lift and rotate the arm.

Conditions that affect muscles or ligaments:

  • Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
  • Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder problem symptoms

  • Pain with shoulder movement
  • Limited shoulder range of motion
  • Shoulder pain while sleeping
  • Grinding or catching sensations with shoulder movement

Shoulder problem treatment

Initial treatment may include rest, physical therapy, injections, shoulder immobilization or medications. Depending on the severity of the shouldercondition, shoulder surgery may be needed.

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This web site contains general medical information and does not replace the medical advice of your physician. If you have questions about your medical condition or exercises, ask your doctor or health care provider.