What Is Shoulder Pain?
The shoulder has a wider and more varied range of motion than any other joints in the body. We can spread and bend our arms, rotate the shoulders and stretch upwards beyond the shoulder joints. Our shoulder allows us to do everything from carrying dishes to swimming, but this flexibility also makes the shoulder one of the most unstable joints in the body. The older we get, the more vulnerable we are.
The shoulder joint forms the connection between the trunk and the arm and is not held in place with bones. It is made up of a complex arrangement of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons also known as the shoulder girdle which functions to give strength and varied range of motion to the arm. The shoulder girdle includes three bones: the scapula, clavicle and humerus. There are three joints in the shoulder girdle:
- the Glenohumeral Joint (GH), also known as the shoulder joint, is a ball-and-socket joint where the humerus meets the glenoid on the scapula
- the Acromioclavicular Joint (AC) is a gliding joint where the acromial process on the scapula links to the collar bone (clavicle). The ACJ is important in transmitting forces through the upper limb and shoulder to the axial skeleton.
- the Sternoclavicular Joint (SC) is a double gliding joint between the sternum (breastbone) and the clavicle (collar bone). The Sternoclavicular Joint plays the part in all movements of the upper limbs, and is particularly important in throwing and thrusting movements.
Some people face a restriction in the mobility of their shoulder joints. This can be due to the muscles around the shoulder joints becoming inflamed and tender, thus restricting your movements and causing pain in the shoulder. Sometimes, a neck pain sufferer may experience shoulder pain as the pain from the neck may have referred to the shoulder.
If you suffer from shoulder pain, you will find it difficult to carry out basic daily activities such as combing your hair, putting on and removing your clothes or even just scratching your back. In addition, you may find that you have difficulty raising your arms, playing games like basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton or any sports involving the rotation of the shoulder joints.
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