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What Are the Different Types of Shoulder Instability?

Physiotherapist working with patient in clinic closeup Shoulder instability is a condition that occurs when the ligaments surrounding the joints are weakened or stretched for some reason. There are different types of shoulder instability. Read on to learn what they are, how they happen, and what can be done to reverse their course.

Three Types of Instability

There are three different types of shoulder instability: anterior, posterior, and multidirectional. These basic classifications are indications of the type of motion or condition that resulted in the instability. Due to the shoulder’s wide range of motion and complex composition, shoulder instability is a fairly common condition.

Anterior instability is the most common. This instability arises from weakened ligaments due to a shoulder dislocation or other injury. Due to the nature of the shoulder capsule, once a dislocation occurs, the joint is more likely to experience instability.

Posterior instability is slightly less common and arises from a different source: muscle contraction mostly from seizure or electrical shock. This type of instability sees a different mode of action causing the humorous to become dislocated from the joint.

Multidirectional instability results from congenital hyperlaxity. A person who suffers from this is considered double-jointed, making this instability unpredictable. If you are double-jointed, you are especially susceptible to this type of shoulder instability after any repairs to your rotator cuff.

Shoulder Instability Symptoms

Common symptoms of shoulder instability are:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • A feeling of looseness in the shoulder
  • Numbness
  • Weakness 
  • Difficulty lifting the arm above the head

These symptoms could be indicative of shoulder instability that needs close monitoring.

Treatment for Shoulder Instability

Most shoulder instability treatment plans start with non-surgical methods. Interventions such as modifying your activities and taking anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce your symptoms.

Physical therapy is always an option, and surgery can be a risk that some are unwilling to take. Our doctors can help you understand the best course of treatment for your unique situation.

If you need a doctor who will take your pain seriously, look no further than our skilled providers. Call 219-795-3360 today to schedule a consultation at Bone & Joint Specialists Orthopedic & Spine Center. We have locations in Merrillville, Highland, Hobart, and Valparaiso, Indiana.

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