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Common Shoulder Conditions

What are some of the conditions that affect the shoulder?

Many conditions that affect the shoulder can be quite painful and make it difficult to carry out daily activities. In some cases, surgery is necessary to alleviate pain and restore full function. Physical therapy, rest, injection of steroids and changes to daily routines can help to restore strength and flexibility — before, after, or instead of, surgery.

Common Shoulder Conditions

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How does your shoulder normally function?

Your shoulder joint is composed of three bones; your upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). The shoulder bones come together in a ball and socket joint and are held together by a form of connective tissue (ligaments). The “ball” or upper part of your arm bone fits into a “socket” and is cushioned by soft tissue called cartilage. Several muscles are attached to the bones by another form of connective tissue known as tendons. The muscles that surround your bones help to make up your rotator cuff. Together, your bones, muscles and various connective tissues allow your shoulder to have a full range of motion, including rotation.

Why are conditions affecting the shoulder so common?

Your shoulder is one of the most flexible joints in your body, making it more susceptible to injury and damage, such as tears, injuries, dislocations and degeneration, than some other joints . Most conditions that affect your shoulder are due to inflammation, tears, instability and fractures.


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