The Shoulder: An Evolutionary Trade off of Stability and Mobility

The shoulder is arguably the most complex and mobile joint in the human body – and anthropologists theorize that it’s mobility gave us a significant advantage over our neanderthal ancestors. However as with most things in life – features always come with a trade-off.

Significant mobility inherently means lack of stability. I will define stability as a joint’s ability to incur abnormal forces and exit without damage or pain. Asked another way:

  • How many people do you know who have dislocated a shoulder?
  • How many do you know that have dislocated a hip?

To further illustrate this point, let’s take a look at a hip joint vs. a shoulder joint. [Read more…]