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January 29, 2007

Etiology of Shoulder Problems

The shoulder is easily injured because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. To remain stable, the shoulder must be anchored by its muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Shoulder pain may be localized or may be felt in areas around the shoulder or down the arm.  Although the shoulder is easily injured during sporting activities and physical activity, the primary source of shoulder problems may be the natural age-related degeneration of the surrounding soft tissues such as those found in the rotator cuff. The incidence of rotator cuff problems rises dramatically as a function of age and is generally seen among individuals who are more than 60 years old. Often, the dominant and nondominant arm will be affected to a similar degree. Overuse of the shoulder can lead to more rapid age-related deterioration of the shoulder muscles, tendons, and ligaments.


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