Shoulder and Upper Arm

The Shoulder Complex and Upper Arm

Our Harpenden based shoulder physiotherapy focuses on the main 3 bones: the humerus (upper arm), scapula (shoulder-blade) and clavicle (collarbone), although the ribs and the sternum (breastbone) are also closely linked with shoulder function.

There are 4 joints that make up the overall shoulder complex. The most commonly known is the glenohumeral joint, a ball-and-socket joint formed by a socket from the scapula and the head of humerus. Most shoulder movement occurs here.

The junction between the clavicle and the acromion (which is also part of the scapula) is known as the acromioclavicular joint. The sternoclavicular joint attaches the collarbone to the breastbone and finally the scapulothoracic joint is where the shoulder blade sits on the back of the rib-cage hence shoulder complex!

The shoulder complex is quite unstable, particularly the glenohumeral joint, therefore it has an array of anatomical features to try and increase its stability.


A capsule surrounds the glenohumeral joint and contains synovial fluid something to help keep the joint lubricated. The capsule is notoriously implicated with a frozen shoulder. The capsule is also made up of several ligaments and provides more stability for the shoulder.

The shoulder glenoid labrum is a rim of cartilage which surrounds the socket of the glenohumeral joint and provides depth and stability to the joint.

The rotator cuff consists of 4 muscles and tendons that surround the glenohumeral joint. They provide movement and stability. Our shoulder physiotherapy can help with a wide range of injuries associated with the above parts.

Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain and Upper Arm Complaints

  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Sub-Acromial shoulder impingement syndromes
  • Shoulder dislocation/subluxation
  • Shoulder instabilities
  • Labral pathologies (SLAP/Bankart lesions)
  • Acromio-clavicular joint injury
  • Rotator Cuff tendinitis/tears
  • Biceps tendon tendinitis/tears
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Nerve entrapment
  • Haematomas
  • Muscle strains
  • fractures: clavicle, humerus
  • Post operatively:
    • Acromio-clavicular joint decompression/resection
    • Gleno-humeral labral repairs (SLAP, Bankart)
    • Rotator Cuff tendon repairs
    • Shoulder reconstructions and instabilities
    • Shoulder re-surfacing
    • Shoulder replacement

Call Us Today

Give us a call on 01582 761448 or get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how our shoulder physiotherapy in Harpenden can help you with any upper arm complaints you may be experiencing.

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Shoulder and Upper Arm

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We are very proud to announce that Harpenden Physiotherapy has been acquired by The Carter & George Practice, co-owned by England Rugby International, Jamie George.

The Carter & George Practice look forward to building on the excellent reputation of Harpenden Physiotherapy, and are committed to ensuring minimal disruption in your care.

To find out more about The Carter & George Practice, please click here.

To book an appointment in Harpenden, please call 01582 761448 or email

You can also book online at any of our practices by clicking here.