Types of Shoulder Injuries

By Patrick Cameron

A proper golf swing demands that all parts of your body move in concert with each other, from your toes up to your head and everything in between. Shoulder and arm motion, even at a minimum, must be smooth and fluid for you to have the results you want. An injury to the shoulder area can have long-term consequences on the fluid motion required. If not properly treated and rehabilitated, that shoulder injury could show up as a hitch in your swing. Several types of shoulder injuries exist, each with a distinct set of problems and timelines for recovery.

Dislocation and Separation

A shoulder dislocation is different than a shoulder separation. A dislocation is the most common type of shoulder injury. It happens when force pulls the ball of your upper arm away from the shoulder socket. With a dislocation, it's not uncommon for tendons in the shoulder to be stretched, thus making it easier to dislocate again. A separation has the same effect but with more damage as it generally is the result of tendons, which hold the arm bone in the socket, tearing from blunt force or a fall.

Bursitis and Impingement Syndrome

Bursitis in the shoulder is similar to golf elbow in that it is caused by an inflammation in the bursa sac. It can actually be caused by impingement syndrome, which is another condition involving an inflamed bursa sac. However, with impingement syndrome, the inflamed bursa sac is the result of excess squeezing and rubbing between the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade. Impingement syndrome can also be caused by inflammation in the tendons around the rotator cuff.


Tendonitis is another injury that occurs because of inflammation, only not of the bursa sac. In tendonitis, the inflammation is focused on the tendons of the rotator cuff or bicep muscle. Surprisingly, the bicep tendon runs all the way up and attaches to the shoulder. Typically, tendonitis is the result of these tendons becoming pinched in the shoulder area.

Rotator Cuff and Labrium Tears

Falling or dislocating a shoulder too many times can cause the protective collars in the shoulder joint to tear. Tears can also occur from overuse of the joint and aging. Often, tears in the labrium or rotator cuff require surgery to make the shoulder socket strong again.

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as frozen shoulder, is a severely restricting complication to a previous shoulder injury. If you don't use the joint because of the pain involved, this intermittent use can result in inflammation and a lesion forming in the shoulder socket. Not only do lesions reduce mobility in the limb but the lack of movement makes the condition worse.

About The Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

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