An Introduction to the Shoulder

Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a physical therapist.
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About the Shoulder

The ball-and-socket shoulder joint is made up of your collarbone (clavicle), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your upper arm bone (the humerus). The upper arm bone is held in the socket by the rotator cuff, which is a group of four muscles and tendons that help support and coordinate shoulder movement.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Because the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, it tends to have a higher risk of injury.

Common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Rotator cuff strain, tear, or impingement
  • Instability
  • Overuse

Overview of Treatment Plans for the Shoulder

Your specific shoulder injury will determine the type of treatment plan your therapist develops. Common methods of treatment include manual therapy to improve joint mobility, stretching, and strengthening exercises.

Experiencing Shoulder Pain?