Shoulder instability

Unstable shoulder joint or a feeling that it will pop out or dislocate can be from weakness or an injury of the rotator cuff. It can also be due to a shoulder joint injury where the ligaments or labrum is injured either in an acute situation or chronic issue. Shoulder instability may also not be known to the athlete due to the muscles working appropriately and can be small painful episodes instead such as reaching for an object or brushing your teeth.

Atraumatic shoulder instability can also occur where the shoulder slips away due to a flattened socket, decreased co ordination, disuse or stretched (lax) ligaments. Injuries and conditions that cause this symptom are listed below:
  • Glenoid Labrum Tear

    Glenoid Labrum Tear

    The glenoid labrum is a fibrous ring of tissue which attaches to the rim of the glenoid shallow hole or socket of the shoulder blade where the ball of the humerus or arm bone sits. When this tissue tears, it creates general shoulder pain and weakness in the joint. This shoulder injury is often caused by repetitive movemment such as overhead throwing, so resting from these activities will help to ease the pain.

  • Dislocated Shoulder

    Dislocated Shoulder

    A dislocated shoulder is a traumatic and painful injury often caused by contact sports or from a fall. This shoulder injury can do further damage to the area surrounding the joint so it is important to seek medical advice immediately. A dislocated shoulder can be recurring, so we also identify some rehabilitation exercises that can help you recover from the injury and try to prevent it happening again.

  • Shoulder Subluxation

    Shoulder Subluxation

    Shoulder subluxation or shoulder instability occurs when the shoulder partially dislocates. By tis nature the shoulder joint allows a large range of movement which means it is likely to be less stable than other joints, such as the hip. There are seveal reasons why the shoulder joint may be unstable and dislocate which are described below. Medical help from a physiotherapist will help as they can give exercises to help strengthen and stabilise the area.

  • Shoulder Pain

    Shoulder injuries can be either acute or chronic depending on when they are diagnosed and how long the pain or disability has been felt for. If you are not sure what your injury is why not check out our shoulder pain symptom checker! An acute shoulder injury occurs suddenly either through direct impact, over stretching a muscle, tendon or ligament, overusing a muscle or tendon or twisting of the shoulder joint. A chronic shoulder injury may come on gradually over time.

  • Chronic Shoulder Injuries

    Gradual onset shoulder pain or chronic shoulder pain may come on over a period of time. The athlete may not have known the exact time of injury which could have been niggling away for a while as they train through it. Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint, there are some injuries which may appear to have happened suddenly but also may develop gradually over time. A chronic shoulder injury may also be acutely painful.

  • Acute Shoulder Injuries

    Sudden onset or acute shoulder injuries are ones which happen suddenly, often though a fall onto an outstretched arm or through direct impact or over stretching or overloading. Often the athlete will feel a sudden sharp pain with discomfort and or loss of mobility. Sometimes there will be swelling and inflammation. It is important acute shoulder injuries are treated as soon as possible with the PRICE princples of immediate first aid. Always seek medical advice if pain is severe or you are in any doubt.