Your shoulder joint allows you to perform a wide range of movements of the upper limb that are crucial for your everyday activities. However, the shoulder joint is frequently injured because of its freedom of motion. Shoulder instability results in your shoulder slipping out of the socket because of torn or damaged ligaments. Sometimes sports with overhead activity like tennis and volleyball can also cause shoulder instability without any major tear in the ligaments.
How Can Shoulder Instability Be Treated?
Shoulder instability can be treated with proper physiotherapeutic exercises. In some cases when the injury is too extensive, you might need surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligaments.
The surgical procedure is minimally invasive and involves using a small camera (arthroscope) that is inserted in the joint through a small incision made in front of the shoulder. Arthroscopy is now the preferred surgical procedure for fixing shoulder instability.
Rotator Cuff Repairs
Four groups of shoulder muscles make the rotator cuff and insert into the upper part of the arm. The rotator cuff muscles help to initiate shoulder movements working together with other muscles of the back and chest.
When the rotator cuff gets damaged the first line of treatment is icing and resting the joint along with anti-inflammatory medicines. Physiotherapy also improves the mobility of the rotator cuff. In severe cases, you might need surgery (arthroscopy or small incision surgery).
Adhesive Capsulitis or frozen shoulder frequently affects people aged 40 and above. This condition can be prompted from even a minor injury, and it is more frequently met in people that have diabetes.
The pain from a frozen shoulder progresses over weeks to months with the symptoms being more severe at night or on sudden movements. Inflammation in the joint causes this pain to occur and can sometimes make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
This pain gradually lessens when scarring and stiffening of the joint occurs. When this happens, the shoulder joint ‘freezes’, hence the term ‘frozen shoulder’. The frozen shoulder causes movements to become restricted and makes it difficult for you to perform everyday activities.
The final stage is the thawing stage when the pain and the decreased joint mobility get better. This may take over a year.
For many people adhesive capsulitis is distressing, and treatment involves reducing the pain during the initial inflammatory stage. Surgery is usually not required and proper physiotherapy often completely improves the mobility of the shoulder joint.