Key Words for Shoulder Problems

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Key Words for Shoulder Problems
the part of the scapula (shoulder blade) that forms the highest point of the shoulder.
Acromioclavicular (AC) joint
the joint of the shoulder located between the acromion (part of the scapula that forms the highest point of the shoulder) and the clavicle (collarbone).
a diagnostic test in which a contrast fluid is injected into the shoulder joint and an x ray is taken to view the fluid’s distribution in the joint. Leaking of fluid into an area where it does not belong may indicate a tear or opening.
filmy sac-like structures that permit smooth gliding between bone, muscle, and tendon. Two bursae cushion and protect the rotator cuff from the bony arch of the acromion.
inflammation of the bursae that cushion joints. Bursitis is a common cause of shoulder pain.
a soft tissue envelope that encircles the glenohumeral joint and is lined by a thin, smooth, synovial membrane.
the collarbone.
powerful anti-inflammatory hormones made naturally in the body or manmade for use as medicine. Injections of corticosteroid drugs are sometimes used to treat inflammation in the shoulder.
Glenohumeral joint
the joint where the rounded upper portion of the humerus (upper arm bone) joins the glenoid (socket in the shoulder blade). This is commonly referred to as the shoulder joint.
the dish-shaped part of the outer edge of the scapula into which the top end of the humerus fits to form the glenohumeral shoulder joint.
the upper arm bone.
tough bands of connective tissue that attach bones to each other, providing stability.
Impingement syndrome
squeezing of the rotator cuff, usually under the acromion.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
a procedure in which a strong magnet is used to pass a force through the body to create a clear, detailed image of a cross section of the body. The procedure may be used to confirm the diagnosis of some shoulder problems.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
a class of medications that ease pain and inflammation, and are available over the counter or with a prescription. Commonly used NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis KT).
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health,
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
the most common form of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage, leading to pain, stiffness, and disability.
Rheumatoid arthritis
a form of arthritis in which the immune system attacks the tissues of the joints, leading to pain, inflammation, and eventually joint damage.
an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These are four steps often recommended for treating musculoskeletal
Rotator cuff
Composed of tendons that work with associated muscles, this structure holds the ball at the top of the humerus in the glenoid socket and provides mobility and strength to the shoulder joint.
the shoulder blade.
the membrane that lines the joint and secretes a lubricating liquid called synovial fluid.
Synovial fluid
lubricating fluid secreted by the synovial membrane that lines a joint.
tough cords of connective tissue that attach the shoulder muscles to bone and assist the muscles in moving the shoulder.
inflammation of the tendons. In tendinitis of the shoulder, the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon becomes inflamed, usually as a result of being pinched by surrounding structures.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
a technique that uses a small battery-operated unit to send electrical impulses to the nerves to block pain signals to the brain.

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