Shoulder Instability: No Laughing Matter

If you arrive at a party that you thought involved costumes, but it turns out to be black tie, you are likely to feel out of place in your clown wig and floppy shoes. Let’s face it, feeling that way is not fun. When it’s your shoulder joint that’s out of place, it can really bring you down! With your shoulder’s ability to lift, rotate, and reach, its great range of motion can make it vulnerable to subluxation, otherwise known as shoulder instability. However, you can turn that clown frown upside down with a visit to Castle Pines Physical Therapy.

Find relief for your shoulder painA Not-So-Silly Situation

This condition occurs when the head of your upper arm bone is forced—partially—out of its socket. It is usually due to a sudden injury, or repetitive motion over time. When it happens, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint can become loosened or torn, often leading to repeated subluxation as a result of the weakened tissues’ inability to keep the bone in place. Chronic shoulder instability can hinder your ability to partake in fun, and even day-to-day activities without pain.

Take Symptoms Seriously

Often times, a sudden blow to the shoulder is behind this injury. Participating in contact sports like football or rugby can obviously put you at risk, but simply falling on an outstretched arm can do the trick as well.  Overuse is another reason for shoulder instability. Repetitive motion can cause stress overtime, stretching and loosening ligaments beyond their limits. Throwing a baseball, swimming, and playing tennis and volleyball are all examples of repeated motions that can eventually take their toll, especially when poor technique is used. Many occupations involve frequent overhead movements that can be damaging as well.

If you have pain or a popping sensation in your shoulder, weakness, tenderness, or a feeling that your shoulder is giving out or just hanging there, you could very well be suffering from shoulder instability. Take the signs seriously. Ignoring symptoms can cause the condition to become chronic, significantly slowing recovery. The quicker you get to Castle Pines Physical Therapy, the sooner you can start treatment, and the faster you’ll be able to return to your normal activities.

Quit Clowning Around

The first step toward recovery is to make some lifestyle changes and avoid activities that aggravate the problem. Although a simple modification of biomechanics might work, you may have to make a switch to lower impact sports. While this may be difficult, keep in mind that you’ll be happier in the long run! In addition, if you have a job that requires repetitive shoulder motions, be sure to take frequent breaks and use proper technique. Anti-inflammatory medication can also help, but the main ingredient to a successful recovery is an intense exercise program focused on strengthening and control of shoulder muscles. This is essential to restoring proper function to your shoulder—so don’t wait!

At times, surgery may be necessary to repair stretched and torn ligaments so that they can hold the shoulder joint in place. However, this should be considered only after all other avenues have been explored.

The Punch Line

Dr. Jennifer Molner can help you develop and go through an exercise program to get your shoulder strong and stable again. Stop by our Castle Pines, CO location, or make an appointment by calling (303) 805-5156 today.