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Shoulder Mobility

Why is Shoulder Mobility important for shoulder health?

The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints of the human body. As such, it faces a unique problem.

In any joint, there is usually a trade off between strength, and mobility. In the shoulder however, both are needed in equal measure.

The shoulder joint is called a synovial joint, which is one of three types of joints in the human body, and is by far, the most mobile type of joint.

It is characterized by the "Ball and Socket" structure, where the end of one bone is shaped like ball, which fits into a socket in the other bone.

Shoulder mobility_synovial joint

In order to maintain a smooth operation, the synovial fluid surrounds the contact point, and lubricates the joint.

The shoulder connects the Humerus, which is the large bone that makes up the upper portion of the arm, to the scapula, commonly known as the shoulder blade.

The ball of the humerus is larger than the socket in the scapula.

This allows the humerus, a much larger range of movement than say, the hip joint, which is also a ball and socket joint, but has a limited range of motion.

The downside, is that the shoulder is very susceptible to injury, as it is less stable.

To keep the shoulder stable, the joint is supported by ligaments, and a capsule around it. Because of the large number of elements that go into making the shoulder a stable joint, it follows that more things can go wrong with it.

Loss of mobility

A loss of mobility in the shoulder is one of the first things that will alert you to the fact that something is wrong. This will be accompanied by pain, and you will feel unable to move the shoulder naturally.

As such, one must strive to ensure that the shoulder retains it's full mobility. This does not mean forcing the shoulder to move if it hurts. It means that you should get professional advice.

As a reaction to pain, most people restrict the use of the shoulder, and this invariably leads to the problem worsening.

One of the most common conditions that affect people usually above 40, is called adhesive capsulitis or "Frozen Shoulder".

Another condition is called a Rotator Cuff Tear, which is caused due to the tearing of the muscles around the shoulder that aid in it's stability.

These muscles are called the Rotator cuffs and are a group of four small muscles which support the joint.

Keep in mind that just because the pain occurs near the shoulder (specially the shoulder blade), this does not mean that the problem lies in the shoulder itself.

Sometimes its a problem with the neck or the upper back, and the pain is referring into the shoulder blade region

Shoulder exercises

There are several shoulder exercises that will enable you to prevent problems that might occur with this sensitive joint.

These exercises usually focus on stabilizing the scapula, and thereby strengthening the shoulder.

Mobility Exercises, are a special subset of exercises that help the shoulder achieve the maximum range of movement, in a natural way without discomfort.

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