The shoulder is made up of there bones – the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone). The humerus and a cavity in the scapula, called the glenoid cavity, form the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body, enabling a wide range of movements. As a result, the shoulder joint is considered the most insecure joints of the body, but the support of ligaments, muscles and tendons function to provide the required stability.
Shoulder injuries can commonly occur due to sports activities that involve repetitive and excessive overhead movements as in tennis, pitching, weightlifting and swimming. It can also occur during daily activities such as hanging curtains, washing walls and gardening.
Some of the common injuries of the shoulder include:
- Strains and sprains: pulled muscles and ligament injuries
- Fractures: break in the shoulder bones
- Dislocations: pulling away of the ends of bones from their normal alignment
- Torn rotator cuff: tears in the rotator cuff, a group of tendons that stabilize the shoulder
- Bursitis: inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called bursa
- Tendinitis: inflammation of tendons
- Frozen shoulder: stiffness in the shoulder capsule
- Arthritis: damage to the articular cartilage that lines the ends of joint bones
- Shoulder instability: stretched muscles and ligaments
The main symptoms of shoulder injury are pain and reduced range of motion.
Simple pain or acute injuries may be treated with conservative treatment, while chronic injuries may require surgical treatment.