Shoulder injuries can be caused by sports activities - and everyday activities - that require excessive overhead motion. Athletes are especially susceptible to shoulder problems due to repetitive, intensive training routines. Some of the more common athletic activities that are associated with shoulder injuries include swimming, tennis, pitching or weightlifting.

Activities around the home - such as washing walls, hanging curtains and gardening - sometimes result in an injury to the shoulder.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, ask these questions:

  • Is the shoulder stiff? Can you rotate your arm in all of the normal positions?
  • Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
  • Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?
  • If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, you should consult an orthopaedic surgeon for help in determining the severity of the problem.

    Find a shoulder surgeon near you.


    The elbow is the joint where the upper arm bone (humerus) meets the two bones of the lower arm (ulna and radius). The elbow is a combination hinge and pivot joint. The hinge part of the joint lets the arm bend like the hinge of a door, and the pivot part lets the lower arm twist and rotate. The rounded ends of the upper arm bone give the elbow its two "knobs" or bumps (epicondyle). Several muscles, nerves and tendons (connective tissues between muscles and bones) cross at the elbow.