CREDIT: Shoulder image via Shutterstock
[This is the second of two columns on shoulder problems. Read the first column, on common types of shoulder injuries.]
The shoulder is made up of three bones: the collarbone, the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. The shoulder is the body's most movable joint. It is also unstable because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. The unstable shoulder is held in place by soft tissue: muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Common shoulder problems include dislocation, separation, torn rotator-cuff, frozen shoulder, fracture, arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis. The rotator cuff is defined as the set of muscles and tendons that secures the arm to the shoulder joint and permits the arm to rotate.
Doctors diagnose shoulder problems by studying your medical history, giving you a physical examination and performing tests such as x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Shoulder problems are most often first treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation):
Here are some easy exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and prevent injuries:
An aerobic exercise program will help improve the blood flow to a tendon or bursa. This helps reduce soreness. Smokers should quit smoking so more oxygen reaches the injured tendon. This will help the injury heal faster.
If you would like to read more columns, you can order a copy of "How to be a Healthy Geezer" at www.healthygeezer.com.
All rights reserved © 2012 by Fred Cicetti
More from the Healthy Geezer: