The shoulder has a wide and versatile range of motion. When something is wrong with your shoulder, it hampers your ability to move freely and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The shoulder is a spherical joint that has three main bones: the humerus (long arm bone), the clavicle and the scapula (also called the shoulder blade).

Two Joints:

The shoulder is made up of two joints, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint and the glenohumeral joint. The AC joint is the point where the clavicle, or collarbone, meets the acromion, which is the tip of the shoulder blade. The glenohumeral joint is the point where the top of the upper arm bone, or humerus, meets the shoulder blade or scapula. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the AC joint.

These joints are padded with a layer of cartilage. The shoulders derive their range of motion from the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is made up of four tendons. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones. It may be painful or difficult to raise your arm above your head if the tendons or bones around the rotator cuff are damaged or swollen.

Causes of Shoulder Pain:

  1. Arthritis
  2. Bottleneck Syndrome (Impingement Syndrome)
  3. Tendon rupture (rotator cuff tear)
  4. Shoulder bursitis (subacromial bursitis)
  5. Frozen Shoulder (Capsulitis adhaesiva / Frozen Shoulder)
  6. Calcified shoulder (tendinosis calcarea)
  7. Shoulder instability (shoulder dislocation / shoulder dislocation)
  8. Wear and tear of the acromioclavicular joint (acromio-clavicular joint arthrosis)
  9. Functional shoulder pain

Osteoarthritis – also known as degenerative joint disease – occurs when the cartilage that covers the tops of bones, called joint cartilage, degenerates or wears down. This causes swelling, pain and sometimes the development of osteophytes – bone spurs – when the ends of the two bones rub together.

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– Naghmi Shirin & Dr. Shahzad Farooq