Our Burlington Physiotherapy and Chiropractic clinic treats lots of different conditions and injuries affecting any joint, muscle, tendon or ligament in the body (more or less). Shoulder pain and shoulder injuries are among the most common conditions. For the next few weeks, we’re going to focus our blogs on shoulder pain, its causes, treatment options and exercises. For this week, we’re going to start from scratch and walk you through some of the basic anatomy of the shoulder, relevant to most of our Burlington readers…
To keep it simple, the humerus is the bone in your arm that forms a joint with the scapula (or shoulder blade as many call it). Of note in the picture is the clavicle (commonly known as the collar bone). The clavicle (visible from the front) has a joint with the scapula (on your back). This joint is called the acromioclavicular joint, which is the joint we injure with a separated shoulder.
This picture illustrates the more superficial muscles. The deltoid has three parts; the front, middle and back. From this view, we can see the middle and rear deltoid. In the next picture we can see the front or “anterior” deltoid. Underneath the deltoid are the rotator cuff muscles.
This is a picture of the front of the shoulder. You can see the bicep muscle / tendon tucks underneath the deltoid. Also under the deltoid are the rotator cuff muscles.
The rotator cuff muscles have attachments on the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus. Among other things, they are very important muscles for stabilizing the humerus so that it moves in the right “spot” on the scapula. Rotator cuff muscles are often injured. We regularly see diagnostic ultrasound reports that indicate tendinosis, tendinopathy or tear of these muscles, most frequently the supraspinatus.
Obviously, this is a very basic outline of the shoulder. We plan on tackling various concepts related to the shoulder in the coming weeks so this will serve as a starting point and reference point for weeks to come.