Shoulder Joint Anatomy

Your shoulder joint consists of a ball and socket type of joint that connects the scapula in the back, the far distal part of the clavicle (also called the collar bone) and the humerus, which is the long bone that has a ball at the most proximal end that forms the ball part of the joint.

The shoulder joint is one of the most flexible and moveable joints of the body.  You can rotate your shoulder in just about any direction above, to the side of your body and even behind your back.

The shoulder joint is important in sports such as baseball, where the shoulder must go through its entire range of motion just to throw the ball.

Shoulder Joint Pain Causes in Sports

Top PickThe shoulder can be injured in various kinds of sports that rely on the shoulder for throwing a ball or to tackle another player.

Pitchers in baseball are particularly prone to shoulder joint injuries because they must throw the baseball with a great deal of force on a regular basis.  This can set up micro-tears in the rotator cuff, which is the supporting mass of muscles and ligaments that keep the joint held together.

Football injuries represent another of the shoulder pain causes.  Football players often shove one another during the game using their shoulder. An incorrectly placed shoulder tackle can damage the rotator cuff or can even push the shoulder out of alignment, resulting in a shoulder dislocation.

In cases of shoulder dislocation, the shoulder must be relocated into its proper position before healing can take place.  Sometimes surgery is necessary to put the shoulder back into place or to repair the rotator cuff muscles in order to relieve pain and restore function to the shoulder.  A dislocated should has a greater chance of dislocation again, even with minor trauma or moving the shoulder in certain positions.

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Golfers can also get shoulder pain from swinging the golf club.  In order to swing the club, the shoulder must go through its complete range of motion, especially when swinging one of the larger clubs.  Doing this repetitively can result in micro-tears in the rotator cuff and can result in chronic shoulder pain.

Shoulder Joint Pain Causes Not Due to Sports

The shoulder is vulnerable to pain and injury that is unrelated to sports.  People who do a lot of heavy lifting can strain the shoulder joint, causing later arthritic changes in the joint, especially if the heavy lifting is done on a repetitive basis.  People who must do heavy lifting as part of their job often sustain small tears in the rotator cuff and will experience chronic should pain.

You can get shoulder pain if you suffer from various types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.  It can simply be due to activities of daily living that stress the joint or a past history of repetitive joint injury from sports or from one’s job.  The protective cartilage lining the joint surfaces can wear away, resulting in bone rubbing on bone, which is usually very painful.

Summary

Shoulder joint pain causes are many.  The incidence of shoulder joint pain increases with age and is more common in those who used their shoulder for sports or who have a history of arthritis.

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