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It might be hard to believe, but the shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body.

It’s also not just one independent joint. Several moving parts connect your shoulder to your arm, back, neck, and impact all your upper-body movement.

Your shoulders are a big deal! Take a moment to understand shoulder anatomy and causes of aches and pains.

A Closer Look at Shoulder Anatomy

You shoulders are made of up three major bones:

  • Humerus: This is the upper-arm bone, which is also the largest bone in your arm. The humerus connects to your scapula and clavicle.
  • Scapula: This is your shoulder blade. This bone connects to your collarbone.
  • Clavicle: The collarbone rests at the front of your shoulder and extends to your shoulder blades.

These three bones all meet to create some important joints:

  • Glenohumeral: This is a ball-and-socket joint that allows you to move your arm in circular motions, over your head, and away from your body.
  • Acromioclavicular: This is the upper-most joint in your shoulder. It also helps you with upward arm movements.
  • Sternoclavicular: This joint allows the clavicle movement.

How Does the Shoulder Joint Work?

A collection of cartilage, tendons, muscles, and ligaments surrounds the bones and joints to help you move your arms and perform lifting, pulling and other motions.

Essentially, the humerus fits into your shoulder blade through the glenohumeral joint. The shoulder muscles and tendons that keep this joint intact are called your rotator cuff.

Your rotator cuff helps stabilize your shoulder and provide all the range of movements you perform daily.

What Can Cause Shoulder Pain?

Since the shoulder is so flexible, it’s also one of the most injury-prone areas in the body.

Repeated use and movements can lead to shoulder and upper arm pain, instability, and inflammation. These symptoms may form gradually and over time, which can worsen the pain and long-term impact of injuries.

Common Types of Shoulder Injuries

People can experience a wide range of shoulder issues depending on activity level or other health conditions like arthritis.

Generally, inflammation and instability are the underlying reasons for a variety of shoulder problems. But the list of shoulder injuries is actually quite long. Here are a few common conditions.

Separated Shoulder

People who experience a fall or other trauma can experience a tear in the ligaments that hold the collarbone and scapula together.


This is a result of overuse which leads to inflammation in one of the tendons in your rotator cuff.

Torn Rotator Cuff

In some cases, people can experience a tear in a tendon or muscle surrounding the upper arm bone. This is called a rotator cuff tear.

Frozen Shoulder

This is a result of increased inflammation in your shoulder. As it worsens, your shoulder becomes stiffer and arm movements become more painful and limited.

Physical therapy can help address weaknesses and injury causes. With targeted treatment and exercises, you can improve shoulder mobility issues and regain strength.

Care for Your Shoulders in Tampa

If you’re in doubt about the severity or type of shoulder injury you’re experiencing, don’t wait to ease your pain.

Seek reliable physical therapy in Tampa and be on your way toward recovery. Contact us for a free consultation today.