The upper body consists of seven general muscle regions in the back, chest, and shoulders. For this project we will be focusing on the shoulders and how they function as well as looking into how to treat them when they are injured. 

The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It is formed where the humerus fits into the scapula like a ball and socket. Like stated earlier, the shoulder is a complex arrangement of bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons, otherwise known as the grindle. The primary function of the grindle is to give range of motion and strength to the arm. There are also pectoral girdles, these are responsible for providing structural support to the shoulder region on the left and right side of the body. They also allow a large range of motion and connect muscles that are necessary for shoulder and am movement. The shoulder has more range of motion than any other joint in the body. 

The most frequent cause of injury to the shoulder is from athletic activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion like swimming and tennis. I myself am a swimmer and have had shoulder problems throughout my whole swimming career. Shoulder injuries are also caused by everyday activities such as washing walls, hanging curtains, and gardening. How do we fix shoulder injuries though, what are some common treatments, and do they work? 

The first thing a doctor might do to treat an injured shoulder would be giving the patient nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Prescribing the patient with these drugs can relieve pain from the injured area and help them heal faster. Another way to treat an injured shoulder would be to go to physical therapy. Physical therapy will help the shoulder muscles to relieve pain and slowly restore joint function and range of motion. Physical therapy exercises also help prevent addiction to pain medications, this is because the body releases natural painkillers when exercising. 

There are many different ways to prevent shoulder injuries from happening, for example, building up shoulder muscle. Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder will help keep it stable and protect it from injury. Another way to prevent shoulder injury is to work on shoulder flexibility. Making the shoulder more flexible helps create more range of motion for the shoulder and provides strength and balance to it, both of which can help prevent falls that can cause fractures. Always warming up before doing any rigorous exercises can help prevent injuries from happening as well. Going into a heaving weightlifting session not warmed up will cause major problems in the future for the shoulders. The last way to help prevent shoulder injuries from happening is to practice moderation. Doing the exercises correctly is a big part of this tactic, for example, putting your shoulder in an extreme position and then loading it with resistance can lead to rotator cuff problems. An example of this could be when someone is doing a push up and touches their chest to the floor when they do it will overextend their shoulder and create an injury. If they stopped the push up when their elbows are parallel with their body, the injury will be less likely to happen. 


5 Facts About Shoulder Injuries. (n.d.). Rush University System for Health.

Chung, A. (2019, March 25). Shoulder Anatomy: Girdle, Ligaments, Bones, Humerus, Clavical. | Anatomy, Surgery, Pregnancy, Nutrition, Fitness.

Common Shoulder Injuries. (2009, July). OrthoInfo.–conditions/common-shoulder-injuries

Harvard Health. (2022, August 9). Ouch! Shoulder pain and how to treat it.

One Comment

  1. Naomi did an excellent job with this project. The shoulders are a crazy part of the body when you look into it. And this is a great explanation of the joint and how to treat injured shoulders. I really enjoyed reading this coming from the point of view of a first responders. Your explanation of treatment is pretty spot on. For the emts and paramedics stabilization for an injured joint is key. Keeping the joint from movement to prevent further injury is important. Recovery from injuries takes time and needs to be cared for to prevent rein-jury. The other crazy thing that Ive discovered with shoulder injuries it the damage to the cartilage around. The crackling and popping of shoulder blades. Another thing to look at is chronic shoulder instability and dislocation.

    Reece Kohrmann

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