What most people call the shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion to the arm. Mobility has its price, however. It may lead to increasing problems with instability of soft tissue resulting in pain. The pain may be temporary and disappear in a short time, or it may continue and require medical diagnosis and treatment.


What Do Shoulder Problems Involve?

Most shoulder problems involve the soft tissues—muscles, ligaments, and tendons—rather than bones. And most of these problems fall into three major categories:

  • Tendinitis/bursitis: result of the wearing process that takes place over a period of years
  • Injury/instability: dislocation of one of the joints in the shoulder
  • Arthritis: wear and tear changes with inflammation of the joint, causing swelling, pain and stiffness

Treatment generally involves altering activities, rest, and physical therapy to help you improve shoulder strength and flexibility.