- We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide.
Posted on 05-18-2016
The Importance of Shoulder Mobility
The shoulder is a complex anatomical structure composed of muscles, bones and tissues that work in concert to facilitate movement. The three main bones of the shoulder are the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). A combination of muscles and tendons, known as the rotator cuff, keep the arm bone centered in the socket. The rotator cuff covers the head of the upper arm bone and attaches it to the shoulder blade.The ball and socket design of the shoulder joint, or glenohumeral joint, creates remarkable flexibility. The rounded end of the upper arm bone fits closely into the shallow glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade.The shallowness of the glenoid cavity gives the shoulder joint the widest range of motion of all joints in the human body, and it can achieve 120 degrees of flexion.
There are many ways in which arm motion depends on shoulder mobility. For example, shoulder joints letarms move toward the body during adduction and away from the body during abduction. Hands can be moved toward or away from thebody while elbows areflexed during medial and lateral rotation. Flexion and extension of the arms is enabled by the shoulder joints as well as circumduction, or circular motion of the limbs. Theshoulder joint is also responsible for getting the hand in the right position for any function.
Innumerable activities are made possible by the tremendouspliability of the shoulder joint.For example, most sports and active pastimes require good arm and shoulder coordination. Baseball pitchers, basketball players, golfers, and tennis players all need robust shoulder stability and mobility in order to play skillfully. Recreational activities and workouts like dancing,bowling, weightlifting, and rowing wouldbe very challenging without excellent shoulder health. In fact, it would be difficult to find many sports where arm and shoulder agility is not involved.
Similarly, shoulder mobility is essential for most common activities of daily living,including opening a jar, preparing meals, cleaning and doing laundry. Although most householdchores are not particularly strenuous, pain or stiffness in the shoulder can make everyday tasks seem impossible. Personal care and functional independence may be greatly diminished if shoulder health is compromised, asroutines like washing your hair and getting dressed often require overhead shoulder mobility, or the ability to lift your arms above your head. Shoulder mobility can also impact work performance, especially in jobs that require repetitive physical tasks and heavy lifting.
The great flexibility of the shoulder makes it a fragile structure that is prone to injuries and dislocations. Some common shoulder pathologies include fractures, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, and impingement.Fortunately, many shoulder problems, like stiffness and pain, can be treated successfully using conservative methods. The majority of patients with problematic shoulders respond well to strategies like rest and avoiding overexertion.Other nonsurgical rehabilitative techniques, like stretching and shoulder strengthening exercises, can profoundly increase quality of life and restore full range of motion in the shoulder for those with motoric limitations in that area.
Please Leave a Comment of your experiences with Shoulder Mobility treatment or issues.
-Dr. Ryan Curda
Or visit our Pacific Beach Chiropractic Center at
There are no comments for this post. Please use the form below to post a comment.