A highly mobile joint consisting of two main articulations, the scapulohumeral and the acromioclavicular, and, to a lesser extent, the sternoclavicular, which enables a wide range of movements and all possible combinations on all planes, including full circumduction movements where flexion-extension is combined with abduction-adduction and internal-external rotation. It is made up of various articular and periarticular components, such as the capsular ligament, which is sleeve-shaped and consists of fibrous tissue, the coracohumeral ligament and the glenohumeral ligaments (superior, middle and inferior). A large number of injuries can occur in the shoulder joint affecting its bony components and its soft structures. Anterior or posterior dislocations, fractures, tendinitis, strains, bursitis, rotator cuff tears or adhesive capsulitis.
Symptoms of Shoulder Injury
Symptoms vary depending on the injury or disorder and have a common denominator of pain and varying degrees of functional disability. Day-to-day activities are affected due to the inability of the shoulder joint to perform combined movements. In particular, rotator cuff tears usually occur as a result of sudden movements or traumatic accidents with tearing of the supraspinatus, even compromising the subscapularis and infraspinatus. Dislocations can occur in various directions, the most common being anterior dislocation, which occurs as a result of an abduction and external rotation mechanism, or posterior dislocation, which occurs infrequently, due to flexion and internal rotation.
Shoulder Injury - Orthotic Treatment
Given the diversity of injuries that can affect the shoulder joint and taking into account that the most common are soft tissue lesions, rheumatic disorders, trauma and those that are the result of surgical treatment, different orthotic devices are required with the aim, along with rehabilitation techniques, of performing a precise orthotic function to facilitate early recovery. Forearm supports, slings and fastening braces provide immobilisation and angled support to relieve musculoligamentous tension and, at the same time, the protection required to prevent unwanted movement. Moreover, joint positioning orthoses, which enable adjustment of the position of the joint in order to vary, according to medical prescription, abduction and external rotation, forward flexion or a combination of all of them, allow correct articular immobilisation and unloading, while the ability to release the fastening systems enables the proposed rehabilitation programmes to be applied.