Shoulders – Is It The Most Pathetic Joint?


They click, they crunch, they ache, and they dislocate fairly easily, which is quite annoying for a joint that we use in everyday life. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body, and is used every time you move your arm.  

To understand why we have shoulder problems and injuries, you need to have a basic understanding of the anatomy and function of the shoulder.

The shoulder is a very shallow ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), collarbone (clavicle), and the shoulder blade (scapula). These bones are held together by 4 small muscles (rotator cuff), tendons, and ligaments.


What kind of injuries can you have with shoulders?

Due to the large range of movement, there are heaps of problems and issues that can go wrong in the shoulder, hence the reason we call it “the most pathetic joint”. Most shoulder problems fall into the following categories:

  • Tendinopathies (inflammation of the tendon)
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Instability
  • Arthritic changes
  • Fracture (broken bone)
  • Dislocation

Most shoulder problems are caused by overuse or acute onset injuries.

You may not recall having a specific injury, especially if symptoms began gradually or during everyday activities. Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on a joint or other tissue, often by overdoing an activity or through repetition of an activity.

A sudden (acute) injury may occur from a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the shoulder, or abnormal twisting or bending of the shoulder. Pain may be sudden and severe. Bruising and swelling may develop soon after the injury.

Here are some injury prevention tips:

Listen to your body. If your shoulder gets sore after any activity, don’t ignore it, contact Physiotherapy Bedfordview for an examination.

Stay in shape. Keep your body in good physical shape with regular exercise and a healthy diet. It’s a way to stay well and it can help you avoid injury.

Exercise the right way. Warm-up before you work out. Start slowly if you haven’t done a sport or an activity in a while. Learn how to lift weights correctly. Don’t lift too much.

Watch out at work. Make sure you don’t injure your shoulder on the job.

  • Use good posture when you sit or stand.
  • Follow the rules for safe lifting. Keep your back straight and use your legs.
  • If you work at a desk, make sure your work station is set up so that you can comfortably use your computer.

Sleeping. Don’t sleep on the same shoulder every night. Alternate sides.


If you have any aches, pains, or issues, do not hesitate to contact Physiotherapy Bedfordview.

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