The shoulder joint is a basic ball and socket joint connecting the top of the arm bone to the shoulder blade on the torso. To keep the joint stable and still be able to perform the wide array of complex movements we require of the arm, there is an intricate arrangement of soft tissue and smaller supporting bones.
Due to the stress we place on our shoulders on a daily basis, combined with their flexibility, it is very easy for shoulder injuries to develop. Two common injuries that many people have in the shoulder are:
- Rotator Cuff Injuries – these include strains and tears to the group of four small muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder and allow for much of the movement and rotation we require of the arm
- Shoulder Impingement Syndrome – this condition can develop due to inflammation of the tendons in the rotator cuff from rubbing against the acromion, a narrow section of bone in the shoulder. Shoulder impingement can affect your ability to raise your arm to shoulder height or higher.
In most cases, doctors will recommend conservative treatments including rest, over-the-counter medication, and physical therapy for these injuries. However, if pain and mobility problems persist and do not respond to nonsurgical care, a surgical procedure such as acromioplasty of the shoulder may be recommended.