Although the shoulder is often referred to as a single area of the human body, it is actually made up of three different bones. The shoulder blade, known as the scapula, the upper arm bone, known as the humerus and the collarbone, known as the clavicle. The upper arm fits into a socket that is located in the side of the shoulder blade. That socket is the glenoid. Of course, the shoulder is a movable part of the body so the bones do not actually fuse together but rather, they are interconnected with tendons and muscles. It allows for the bones to stay in their places.
Another part of the shoulder blade that is often referred to, especially when it comes to shoulder problems is the rotator cuff. This part of the body is the tissues, including the tendons and muscles that cover over the top of the upper arm bone and help to secure it to the shoulder blade. Although most people are familiar with the rotator cuff, they may not realize that it is the muscles and tendons that allow you to move your arm up and down.
The majority of shoulder problems are not going to be a difficulty with the bone but rather, are a difficulty with some of the soft tissues that are in the area. That is why the rotator cuff is such a problem for many individuals, because it can become unstable if those muscles are not kept strong. Because the rotator cuff is also associated with the upward and downward movement of the arm, it is also a common difficulty that occurs as a result of repetitive stress injuries. Other problems that can occur with the shoulder include arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis.
If you suffer from a problem with a dislocated shoulder, it is the upper arm no longer being in the socket of the shoulder blade. A problem with a dislocated shoulder can either be fully dislocated or can be partially dislocated. In most cases, a dislocated shoulder occurs because of some sort of blunt trauma injury, such as being injured in a sport. When you have a dislocated shoulder, you will feel numbness and weakness in the area, inflammation will be a problem and it will likely bruise.
Tendinitis is another problem that involves the tendons in the area of the shoulder. There are three basic types of tendinitis, and your doctor will diagnose you with one of those types. Acute tendinitis is often a difficulty associated with a work-related injury or repetitive stress injury of another type. If the tendon split or tear, it may be due to a severe injury or degeneration of the tendons. Chronic tendinitis is typically a degenerative problem as you age or it can be a repetitive stress injury.
There may be a number of different solutions that are available, depending upon the type of shoulder problems that you are experiencing. It can range from physical therapy to pain relieving medications or in more severe cases, total replacement of the shoulder by surgery.