Clinical Director Hector Mayo explains how physical therapy can help restore knee function after a partial meniscectomy.
Shoulder instability may follow a traumatic injury, or it can result from repetitive motions that weaken the shoulder joint.
What is shoulder instability?
The shoulder is the connection of three bones: the arm bone (humerus), the shoulder blade (scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The head of the humerus is a ball that fits into a socket, and it is held in place by muscles, ligaments and tendons. Weakness in the joint increases the risk that the ball will pop completely out of the socket (dislocation) or come partway out (subluxation).
A fall may cause the initial dislocation or subluxation, and the injury weakens the shoulder’s supporting structures. The joint then becomes susceptible to subsequent dislocations or subluxations. Repetitive motions involving the shoulder can also cause weakness and instability. Sports such as football, basketball, baseball and soccer increase the risk for injuries that lead to shoulder instability.
Treating shoulder instability with physical therapy
While surgery is sometimes necessary, most cases of shoulder instability and weakness can be treated with physical therapy. Strengthening exercises, heat, cold, massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation are some of the treatments that may be helpful.
The twisting motion of a golf swing can cause back pain. Golfers are particularly susceptible to lumbar strain and oblique abdominal strain.
Golfers can benefit from stretching the hips and trunk before and after playing. These stretches improve your ability to rotate your trunk. Core strengthening exercises can also help golfers avoid back pain, and should be done three to four times per week.
A physical therapist can evaluate inherent weaknesses that may contribute to muscle strains. The therapist can then tailor an individual exercise program to improve strength and flexibility. This reduces the risk of injury.
Oblique Abdominal Strengthening
Strengthening the muscles that support the spine can reduce back pain caused by lumbar radiculopathy.