Shoulder Instability


This is a looseness of the shoulder joint. With it, your arm slides around too much in the socket. It may slip out of the socket easily. Instability can happen because the ligaments that hold your shoulder together aren't tight enough. Or, the cartilage around your shoulder socket may be damaged.


Shoulder instability can be caused by an injury called "dislocation." That's when your arm is forced from its socket. This can stretch or tear ligaments and cartilage, and they may not heal well. Instability can also happen over time. Sports with overhead arm motions, like tennis and volleyball, can stretch your ligaments. And, some people are just born with loose ligaments.


If you have shoulder instability, you may dislocate your shoulder a lot. This can be painful. Your shoulder may feel loose and weak. It may give out.


Your shoulder may be treated with rest and physical therapy. Medications can help control pain and swelling. If these aren't helpful, you may need surgery. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for you.