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Chronic Shoulder Instability


A “loose” shoulder can feel like it catches, pops or slides out of place. What it usually means, however, is that the stability of the shoulder’s been compromised, often due to injury of the bone or surrounding ligaments. Keep reading to learn more.

Causes & Triggers

  • Having naturally loose ligaments (“double-jointed”)
  • History of dislocation
  • Repetitive overhead motion
  • Trauma (especially forceful event)

Signs & Symptoms

  • “Giving out” or “sliding” sensation
  • Pain
  • Repeated instance of dislocation

Tips & Treatment

  • Once dislocated, the shoulder is vulnerable to repeat occurrences.
  • Modifying or limiting activities may relieve symptoms, especially pain or the feeling of instability.
  • Physical therapy and/or anti-inflammatory medications may provide symptom relief.
  • Surgery may be necessary to repair torn or stretched ligaments and/or to provide joint stability.

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