Shoulders | Definition, Synonyms, Etymology & Anatomy


Shoulders are one of the upper parts of the body. In Latin, it is known as Articulatio Humeri. They are an essential part of mobility and independence.

Everyone needs healthy and pain-free shoulders so that they can drive a car, pick up groceries, do housework, or pick up a child. But as we age, the shoulders become vulnerable to health problems and pain that may shorten activity.


Shoulder is the upper joint. It connects the arms with the neck. The shoulders should be stable enough to permit actions such as lifting, pushing, and pulling. In Urdu, we call it کندھے.


This word originates from Old English sculdor of West Germanic origin related to Dutch schouder and German Schulter.


  • Push
  • Shove
  • Thrust
  • Propel
  • Jostle
  • Elbow
  • Crowd
  • Prod
  • Poke
  • Nudge
  • Knock
  • Ram
  • Bulldoze
  • Hustle

Functions of Shoulders

The shoulders are the most flexible part of the body. It has a wider range of functions than any other joint of the body. The muscles of the shoulders have an extensive range of functions including:

  •  Abduction
  •  Adduction
  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Internal & External Rotation

Anatomy of Shoulders

In humans, the structure of the shoulder is made up of muscles, ligaments, tendons three bones. The bones in the shoulders are:

  • Clavicle
  • Scapula
  • Humerus

It supports the bones and keeps the relationship of one to another. These supporting structures attach to the bones such as the clavicle, humerus, and scapula which later provide the glenoid cavity, acromion, and coracoid processes.

Shoulder Joints:

It is the joints among the bones of the shoulder. Also, it is famous as the Glenohumeral joint. The four joints in the shoulders are:

  • Sternoclavicular Joint
  • Acromioclavicular Joint
  • Glenohumeral Joint
  • Scapulothoracic Joint


The four ligaments in the shoulders are:

Glenohumeral Ligaments: It is extending from the humerus to the glenoid. These ligaments are the major cause of constancy in the shoulder.  There are three Glenohumeral ligaments that assist to hold the shoulder in place and keeping it from dislocating out of the socket are:

  • Superior ligaments
  • Middle ligaments
  • Inferior ligaments

Coraco-Acromial Ligament: It extends between the coracoid process and the acromion. It supports the higher part of the joint capsule.

Coraco-Clavicular Ligaments: It is wide in the two tubercles of the bone of the upper arm. It connects the clavicle and coracoid procedure of the shoulder blade.

Transverse Humeral Ligament: It is also known as Brodie’s ligament. It makes an extensive band that bridges the lesser and greater tubercle of the humerus.


In shoulders, the important muscles are the four rotator cuff muscles which involve:

  • Subscapularis
  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor

The other muscles that support our shoulders include:

  • Rhomboids
  • Trapezius
  • Deltoid
  • Pectoralis (Major and Minor)

Rotator Cuff

It is a group of muscles and their tendons that work to make the joints of the shoulder. It joins the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. You can use it to lift your arm over the head and also to turn the arm to and away from the body.

Shoulders Pain

It is a physical discomfort in the joint of the shoulder. It is a complex joint that permits to throw a ball, reach for a thing, or give something to someone. Due to which how often you use it. It is more at risk of injury which can cause pain.

Shoulders Workout

  • Lateral Raise
  • Arnold Press
  • Face Pull
  • Front Raise
  • Upright Now
  • Shrugs
  • Y Raise
  • Rear Delt
  • Arm circles
  • High Pull
  • Reverse fly
  • Overhead Press
  • Push Press

Shoulders Disorders

  • Bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Arthritis
  • Tendinopathy
  • Acromioclavicular osteoarthritis
  • Instability
  • Dislocation
  • Calcific tendinitis
  • Fracture
  • Sprains and Strains


  • Saba turned to look at him over her shoulder.
  • Ali put his hand on her shoulder gently.
  • Ahmed has wide shoulders.
  • Sana carried a bag on one shoulder.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the peak of the shoulder known as?

It is known as Acromion.

Which part of the shoulder is bigger?

The bigger part of the shoulder is the Side Delts.

Mention the name of the most important muscle of the shoulder.

The Rotator Cuff is an important muscle of the shoulder.

Which nerves are in the shoulder joint?

  • Subscapular Nerve
  • Axillary Nerve
  • Lateral Pectoral Nerve

Name of the cervical nerve that affects the shoulder?

Nerve roots C3 through C8 affect the shoulders.

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