Types of Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder is an extremely complex body structure made up of different joints. The glenohumeral joint connects your upper arm bone (humerus) to your shoulder blade (scapula). This is the most commonly injured joint of the shoulder. Cumming shoulder injuries, or dislocation injuries, are serious injuries that occur when the arm bone is pulled out of its socket. This can happen if you fall on an outstretched arm or if you are struck by an object. They can also be the result of improper lifting or movements during work or leisure.  

Here is a brief breakdown of some of the most common types of shoulder injuries you might encounter:

Rotator cuff tear

A rotator cuff tear is an injury to the tendons that secure the top and bottom of one or more rotator cuff muscles to your shoulder blade. The pain associated with a rotator cuff tear typically occurs in one or both shoulders, and it can be accompanied by weakness or limited motion in the shoulder.

Shoulder impingement

A shoulder impingement occurs when a condition such as arthritis causes part of the ball of your shoulder to rub against another bone in your body, causing inflammation and pain. This type of injury often occurs when you raise your arm over your head, especially if you have arthritis in that area.

Frozen shoulder

This injury occurs when there is inflammation in the muscles around the shoulder joint, causing stiffness and pain in the joint. It can cause limited arm movement due to swelling and inflammation of the surrounding tissues. The symptoms usually appear suddenly after relative physical activity or stress, such as lifting a heavy object or playing a sport.

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Shoulder instability

Injury to the rotator cuff muscles can lead to shoulder instability. This is when your shoulder moves abnormally and causes you pain or makes you unable to use your shoulder properly. If left untreated, this can result in permanent damage or even paralysis of the arm. You may also experience pain that worsens when you move your arm or lift it above your head, particularly if there is a bulge in your upper arm bone (humerus).

Biceps tendonitis

The biceps tendon is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, especially in people who lift weights. The tendon is located inside your upper arm, just below the shoulder joint. It attaches to a muscle called the biceps brachii and helps to rotate your arm inward toward your body. If you have shoulder pain caused by biceps tendonitis, you may feel a burning sensation or weakness when you open your arms wide or raise them above your head. This condition’s cause is unknown, but it’s likely due to an overuse injury in which repetitive movements cause inflammation within the tendon.


The shoulder is among the body’s most mobile joints. But, its extreme mobility comes at a price, and that is the instability of the joint itself. A small injury to any of these ligaments can severely impact our daily routine. Contact Stephen Fisher, M.D., for medical assistance for any of these shoulder problems.

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