All About Shoulder Instability

The shoulder is the meeting place of three different bones, allowing it to move in multiple directions. Because of the intensity of the movements that shoulders must perform, orthopaedic injuries are common. Injuries can lead to both acute and chronic shoulder instability that can significantly impact your everyday activities. If you’re suffering from shoulder instability, see your orthopaedic doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment. Here is what you need to know.


The most common symptom of shoulder instability is subluxation. With subluxation, the shoulder slips when you move it into certain positions, and it may feel loose, as if it is not in its proper place. A sharp, sudden, pinching pain usually happens when subluxation occurs, and the pain may prompt you to stop moving your shoulder in certain ways in order to prevent it. Shoulder dislocation may also occur. In people with untreated, chronic shoulder instability, dislocations may happen frequently.


Shoulder instability often occurs after an injury that causes a dislocation that requires the shoulder joint to be put back into its socket. When this kind of injury occurs, the ligaments that hold the shoulder in position may stretch or tear, allowing instability to occur. Repetitive motions can also cause instability, which is why it is such a common sports injury. Swimming, pitching, and playing volleyball can all increase the risk of shoulder instability.


Treatment for shoulder instability depends on the nature of the underlying injury and the severity of the symptoms. Your orthopaedic doctor may recommend physical therapy initially to build strength and re-stabilize the joint. If that is not effective, then surgery may be necessary.

If you experience shoulder instability , make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor in Joliet at MK Orthopaedics. Ignoring the condition could cause it to worsen, so seek treatment as soon as possible. Call us at (815) 741-6900 to make an appointment.

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