The Shoulder, a Mechanical Miracle!

January 2011

The shoulder is a complex ball and socket joint made up of five articulations and three bones. The arm is able to move and perform through a synchronous, coordinated movement of all of these joints and bones. The shoulder is a mechanical miracle!

Injuries to the shoulder are usually from falls or sports trauma. The structures injured are most commonly the rotator cuff, the shoulder labrum, the AC joint, and fractures or dislocations of the clavicle. Chronic shoulder problems usually lead to symptoms of decreased range of motion and pain due to poor mechanics. This is often because of poor posture causing shoulder impingement. A proper shoulder exam by a physician is important to understand the extent of the injury and x-ray and MRI imaging may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Fortunately, many shoulder injuries are repairable through careful rehabilitation that starts with proper assessment from your doctor.