The shoulder is a ball and socket joint built for motion. It is comprised of 3 bones – the humerus, the scapula, and the clavicle – that form 2 joints. The shoulder joint is technically known as the glenohumeral joint because it’s the connection from the humerus or arm bone to the socket, or the glenoid. The second joint is the acromioclavicular joint where the clavicle or collar bone meets the point of the shoulder known as the acromion. The shoulder is powered by a large number of muscles in order to achieve the extensive range of motion this joint is known for. Over 20 muscles attach to the scapula or shoulder blade and more than 10 to the top end of the humerus.
The most common ailments we treat in the shoulder involve the rotator cuff or the ligament or cartilage around the joint. The rotator cuff is a continuous sheet of tendons from 4 small muscles that attach to the humerus. Typical problems involve inflammation, impingement, degeneration and tearing of the tendons. Damage to the ligaments and cartilage around the shoulder joint usually result in instability. Other common problems involve the biceps tendon, joint degeneration or arthritis and fractures.
There are many treatment options available for each of these problems and can involve rest, medication, physical therapy and surgery.