Disclaimer: This information is for patient education only. Any specific questions regarding care should be discussed with your orthopaedic doctor.

Overview of the Shoulder

Three bones make up the shoulder: the humerus, scapula, and clavicle. The shoulder is very complex in that it’s made up of three separate joints, which means it has extraordinary mobility and range of motion. The glenohumeral joint provides rotating movement, the acromioclavicular joint allows lifting motion of the arm, and the sternoclavicular joint allows the forward and backward motion of the arm. A network of muscles and tendons—the rotator cuff—covers and protects the shoulder. For a visual representation of the shoulder, see the animation.

Types of Shoulder Pain

  • Sharp or shooting pains
  • Pain in shoulder, upper back, arms, or upper chest
  • Pain with movement or touch
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling in shoulder or arm

***Click on a title below to watch an educational video. For a printable brochure, click on the icon in the upper left corner of the video.***