What Are the Most Common Shoulder Injuries? 6 Common Types



What is a shoulder injury?

Shoulder exercises

Common shoulder injuries include shoulder sprain, strain, tear, bone fracture, impingement, and frozen shoulder.

A shoulder injury is an injury to any of the structures in the shoulder joint, including bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilages. Shoulders are easily injured because they have a complex structure that provides a wide range of motion. They are the most mobile joints in the body and consequently, the most unstable.

Each shoulder is composed of three bones, the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the upper arm bone (humerus). The bones are held in place by ligaments, attached to the muscles by tendons, and lined with cartilage to prevent friction between the bones. Fluid-filled sacs, known as bursae, cushion and lubricate the joints, enabling them to glide smoothly.

There are four joints in the shoulder with several muscles, ligaments, and tendons anchoring them, and any of these can get injured. The four joints are:

Sternoclavicular joint: The joint where the clavicle is attached to the upper part of the breastbone (sternum).

Acromioclavicular joint: The joint where the clavicle is attached to a projection in the shoulder blade known as the acromion.

Scapulothoracic joint: Not a true joint but the region where the scapula glides over the thoracic rib cage.

Glenohumeral joint: A highly mobile ball and socket joint in which the head of the humerus forms a ball that fits into a socket (glenoid) in the scapula. The socket is shallow and the ball is larger than the socket, which factors allow maximum movement.


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