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What is the Shoulder?

Three bones come together at the shoulder—the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade) and humerus (upper arm). Muscles, ligaments, and tendons add to this joint’s complexity and stability.  The shoulder is considered a ball and socket joint but it has a very small and shallow socket, so it relies heavily on ligaments and tendons to keep it from dislocating.

What Does the Shoulder Do?

The shoulder is one of your most mobile joints, allowing the arms to make wide movements.

Common Shoulder Injuries

When you move your arms to reach above your head, lift a box, swing a club or racket—your shoulder plays a part. Excessive, repetitive motions in sports and even everyday activities can cause shoulder trouble. Among common injuries are rotator cuff tears, inflamed bicep tendons, cartilage tears, and arthritis.

Precautions to Protect Your Shoulder

An active lifestyle is the key to keeping joints healthy.

Don’t let the fear of injury keep you from staying active. Just be prepared. Don’t do any overhead activities before you’re in shape for it. An active lifestyle is key to keeping joints healthy. One important aspect of a healthy shoulder is strengthening the muscles of the upper back. These muscles control the shoulder blade and make sure it moves in concert with the collar bone and humerus to avoid injury to the rotator cuff.  Core muscle strength also helps protect the shoulder from injury especially in overhead activities such as tennis or softball.  Talk to your physician before starting a new exercise to make sure you have no preexisting conditions that could cause injury later.

Need Shoulder Care or Surgery?

Nathan Richardson, MD, is the region’s leading orthopedic elbow & shoulder specialist, and he is incorporating new, never-seen-before techniques for shoulder injuries. He is using advanced computer technology for out-patient shoulder surgeries, making them faster and more accurate than ever before.

If you are experiencing pain, weakness, severe stiffness in your elbow or are unable to use your shoulder for daily activities, talk to Dr. Richardson. He sees patients throughout Eastern Idaho.

Click here to learn more about your total shoulder replacement surgery.


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