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Shoulder injuries are very common in athletic and active people, and they can be quite painful as well. Today, we will be covering shoulder instability and its causes and treatment suggested by orthopedic doctors.

What Is Shoulder Instability?

First let’s talk about what exactly is shoulder instability. Your shoulders can easily retain and support themselves. Shoulder instability occurs when an occurrence causes your shoulder, specifically your humeral head to lose stability and is unable to retain your shoulder. The humeral head is present in the glenoid fossa. There is a muscular and ligamentous structure around your shoulder, which helps to maintain your posture of the shoulder. When this structure disintegrates, or becomes weak, the muscles and ligaments lose the humeral head and are not able to retain the shoulder any longer.

Physical appearance of the unstable shoulder can be evident by shoulder dislocation and disfigurement of the shoulder, in worse case scenarios. This is the basic rundown of what exactly is a shoulder instability.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Instability?

Now, that you know what a shoulder instability is, we will talk about the symptoms of shoulder instability. They are as follows:

  1. Your shoulder will look physically dislocated, as if it is not in the right place.
  2. You will feel if your shoulder or arm is sliding out of your socket. This is the most common symptom of an unstable shoulder.
  3. You will feel extreme fatigue in your shoulder, if your shoulder is disabled.
  4. Pan in the shoulder is also a common symptom, but it is not a defining symptom of an unstable shoulder, because other shoulder injuries and dislocations can also cause pain in the arm and shoulder.
  5. Aside from dislocation in the shoulder, you will also feel multiple and recurring shoulder dislocations. One time, the dislocation will be on one side, the next moment, it will be on another and completely different position.

There are some of the most common and defining symptoms, which can lead to an unstable shoulder. If you experience these symptoms, then you should immediately get yourself checked in with a doctor.

What Are The Causes Of Shoulder Instability?

There are several causes of shoulder instability. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Swimming can cause shoulder instability. In swimming, you are aggressively using your arm, and this can cause your arm and shoulder to dislocate.
  2. Heavy sports and activity can also lead to shoulder instability.
  3. Naturally loose ligaments due to under-development of a person’s body. Although, this is a cause of shoulder instability, the cases of shoulder instability from this cause is very less, almost 2 percent only.
  4. Any previous shoulder injury, not taken care of properly, can lead to shoulder instability, if you get back to strenuous exercises and activity right after the injury.

What Is The Treatment Of Shoulder Instability?

There are many treatments of shoulder instability, including surgical and non-surgical methods.

Surgical Methods

Placement of the ligaments and connecting the muscles back in place, this will keep your shoulder in place. This is an extensive shoulder surgery, but it can be the only option left, if the shoulder has reached a point of no return and cannot be treated by non-surgical methods.

Non-Surgical Methods

  1. In case of a slightly unstable shoulder, you can try physiotherapy, rest and light exercises. This will help your shoulder to strengthen and it will be stable within a span of some weeks.
  2. If pain is occurring, then you can take pain killers, they will help to alleviate the pain.
  3. You can also take anti-inflammatory medications, if the unstable shoulder is causing inflammation and swelling. Swelling is common in unstable shoulders, because the unstable shoulder moves around and can cause poking and squeezing of other surrounding muscles. If you see any inflammation, redness or swelling, then it is best to take anti-inflammatory medicines as soon as possible.

There you go! Now you know everything there is to know about shoulder instability. The causes are easily identifiable, and the treatment from shoulder surgeons McLean exists, so there is no need to worry about it.

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