What Is Soft Tissue in the Shoulder?

soft tissue in the shoulderWhile orthopaedic surgeons often help patients heal from bone injuries, they also make a wide range of soft tissue repairs. In the shoulder, there is a wide range of soft tissue that helps provide this vital joint with flexibility and a full range of motion.

The soft tissue of the shoulder consists of muscles, such as the deltoid and rotator cuff, and the ligaments and tendons that connect them to bones. When a person sustains a shoulder injury, we often focus on soft tissue repair that can restore function and mobility.

The Muscles of the Shoulder

The shoulder has eight muscles to provide movement, flexibility, stability, and structure to the joint. From lifting grocery bags to throwing a ball, your shoulder muscles are key players when it comes to performing everyday tasks.

As skeletal muscles, the shoulder muscles are attached to the bone with tendons, fibrous connective tissue. They’re also voluntary muscles, which means you have full control over how and when they move.

The key shoulder muscles are:

  • The deltoid
  • Rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis)
  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboid major and minor muscles
  • Levator scapulae
  • Pectoralis major
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Serratus anterior

These muscles play a key role in supporting the ball-and-socket joint that connects the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade.

Shoulder Tendons and Ligaments

Tendons and ligaments both play an important role in shoulder function, but tendons connect muscles to bones and ligaments connect bone to bone. Tendons help stabilize the rotator cuff muscles and facilitate movement while the ligaments provide structural support.

Both are equally important, but they can be affected differently depending on the type of shoulder injury a person has. Treatment options can range from rest and anti-inflammatory medications to physical therapy and surgical repair.

Treat Shoulder Pain With the Help of Dr. John R. Moore, IV

Dr. Moore is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who proudly operates out of Pinehurst, NC. His passion for patient care provides unwavering support and personalized treatment.

He proudly runs Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Center with his wife, Michelle, who tends to her patients as a physician assistant with over 20 years of experience.

To book an appointment, visit our contact page or call us at

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