The shoulder is a ‘ball and socket’ joint. The ‘ball’ is called the head of the humerus; and the ‘socket’ is called the glenoid fossa. Shoulder instability is the inability to maintain the head of the humerus within the glenoid fossa. The majority of shoulder instabilities result in the head of the humerus moving forwards.
A Physiotherapist at ALO Physiotherapy can identify whether shoulder instability is the cause of shoulder pain and outline the most effective treatment plan.
Mechanism of injury
Shoulder instability can result from a traumatic incident or can develop without trauma. If there is no trauma, it may be caused by repetitive overhead movements.
Instability is more commonly seen in sports such as softball, gymnastics, tennis, swimming and weight training.
The stability of the shoulder is maintained by static and dynamic structures. Static structures include the labrum and multiple ligaments which surround the joint. Dynamic structures include the muscles, such as the rotator cuff, deltoid and the long head of biceps muscles.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation for shoulder instability will include retraining of the muscles that provide dynamic stability to the shoulder joint. This will include rehabilitation of rotator cuff muscles, as well as the muscles in the scapula-thoracic region, which control the position of the glenoid fossa (the ‘socket’). Muscle control in the pelvic and hip regions may also be addressed.
There may be regions of excessive tightness of the static or dynamic stabilisers in the shoulder region which can be treated using manual therapy.
Treatments which may be used by Physiotherapists at ALO:
- Rehabilitative exercises
- Manual Therapy
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