Shoulder instability is a common pathology encountered in the orthopedic and sports medicine setting.
But “shoulder instability” itself isn’t that simple to understand.
Would you treat a high school baseball player that feels like their shoulder is loose when throwing the same as a 35 year old that fell on ice onto an outstretched arm and dislocated their shoulder? They’re both “shoulder instability,” right?
There exists a wide range of symptomatic shoulder instabilities from subtle recurrent subluxations to traumatic dislocations. Nonoperative rehabilitation is commonly utilized for shoulder instability to regain previous functional activities through specific strengthening exercises, dynamic stabilization drills, neuromuscular training, proprioception drills, scapular muscle strengthening program and a gradual return to their desired activities.
I’ve had great success rehabilitating dislocated shoulders and helping people return back to full activities without surgery. But to truly understand shoulder instability, there are several key factors that you must consider.