Protecting Your Most Mobile Joint … Shoulders

Player dunking basketball into hoop

Whether shooting hoops, lifting boxes or pushing a lawn mower, we rely heavily on our shoulders to perform a number of activities. It’s also the most mobile joint in the body, which is why it’s the most vulnerable to injury.

To help prevent shoulder problems and injuries, it’s important to understand common conditions and when it’s best to see the doctor.

  • Shoulder Instability – Most common in young people and athletes, shoulder instability occurs when the muscles and ligaments holding it together are stretched beyond their normal limits.
  • Shoulder Dislocation – Often caused by a significant force, the shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body — separating the joint’s ball (the humerus) from its socket (glenoid).
  • Rotator Cuff Tear – A group of four muscles of the upper arm, the rotator cuff allows you to raise and rotate the arm. When these tendons tear, it makes it hard for the ball to move in the socket.
  • Frozen Shoulder – Extreme stiffness, or Frozen Shoulder, can happen at any age when a minor shoulder injury heals with scar tissue that affects how the joint moves.
  • Overuse or Strains – Most common in middle age adults, overuse or strained shoulders occurs with a sudden increase in activity—placing great stress on the joints and leading to a loss of flexibility.
  • Arthritis – Starting as early as age 50, osteoarthritis or painful movement in the shoulder may cause problems for some people.

“There are many options to treat shoulder problems, including non-surgical and surgical methods if needed,” explains Dr. William Pennington, shoulder and sports medicine specialist with Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital. “If you’re out of the game because of shoulder problems, let our team get you back in action as quickly as possible.”

If you’re experiencing shoulder instability, immobility or pain, find a shoulder specialist today.

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