CNY Orthopedic Sports Medicine, PC: Bodyzone: Shoulder

Body Zone: Shoulder

The elegant, complex piece of machinery known as the shoulder makes all arm movements possible. The ability to lift a cup of coffee, to swing a golf club or to pick flowers from the garden comes from the mobility and flexibility of the shoulder. The strength and mobility of the shoulder allows a baseball player to throw a pitch at over 100 miles per hour.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 4 million people in the U.S. seek medical care each year for shoulder sprain, strain, dislocation, or other problems. Each year, shoulder injuries alone account for about 1.5 million visits to orthopaedic surgeons.

The shoulder is capable of a wide range of motion and is the most flexible joint in the body. This tremendous flexibility comes at a price, as it results in the shoulder being the most unstable joint in the body. This instability is a result of the ball of the upper arm being larger than the socket of the shoulder. To remain stable, the shoulder must be anchored by its muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These structures are subject to injury, overuse, and under use.

The shoulder has the widest range of motion of all human joints. To achieve this mobility an extremely critical and sophisticated biomechanical balance must be maintained. If slightly out of balance, the shoulder becomes vulnerable to damage.

Shoulder injuries can be caused by both sports activities that involve excessive overhead motion like swimming, tennis, pitching and weightlifting or by everyday activities such as gardening and lifting. Athletes are especially susceptible to shoulder problems. A shoulder problem can develop slowly in athletes through repetitive, intensive training routines.

Rotator Cuff Injury
Shoulder Impingement
Shoulder Dislocations
Shoulder Instability
Acromioclavicular (AC) Separation

Harmful Behaviors
  • Excessive overhead motion: Participation in activities which exert repetitive forces on the shoulder joint can result in injury and joint degeneration.
  • Excessive force: Lifting extremely heavy objects with an extended arm or trying to catch a heavy object
  • Trauma: A single traumatic event, such as falling on an outstretched arm or receiving a blow to the point of the shoulder can result in rotator cuff tears or dislocations.

  • Good Practices
  • Stay Fit: Well developed and conditioned muscles support the shoulder joint and help the shoulder joint to maintain stability
  • Stretch: Stretching the shoulder muscles helps to maintain mobility and flexibility.
  • Manage injuries early: Injuries which are managed early reduce the risk for long term problems and reduce the likelihood of re-injury.

  • General Conditioning
    Building up your overall strength and muscle tone with a long-term conditioning program will help improve shoulder mobility, flexibility, and stability

    <!--IMG src="moviename.gif" width=100 height=80-->
    The anatomy of the shoulder is a delicate balance of tendons, ligaments, nerves, muscles and bone. The shoulder joint is capable of thirteen different motions, and is controlled by 26 separate muscles. The shoulder joint, however, is more known for its mobility than for its stability.

    The Body in Motion
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