Appointments in as little as 24 hours Start your assessment


Shoulder Instability
Ever felt like your shoulder just “gives way”? Or that your arm is sliding away from your shoulder joint? Have you had multiple episodes of such? Contact a physical therapist right away to evaluate your shoulder and recommend specific treatment plans for you. Feelings of your shoulder popping out or your arm sliding away is the major symptom of shoulder instability, and physical therapy is just vital to restoring stability and motion to your shoulder.
What you need to know about shoulder instability
Shoulder instability occurs when the tissues in the shoulder become torn or stretched allowing the ball of the shoulder joint to move out partially or completely from the socket. The ball of the shoulder joint is the head of the humerus bone or your upper arm and is ideally, supposed to rest in a socket in your shoulder blade. Partial shoulder instability is associated with subluxation. The humerus head slides in and out of the socket quickly. It may be associated with pain or a “dead arm” sensation. Some patients may not feel pain, but the instability just stops them from carrying out their normal activities. Complete shoulder instability is also referred to as shoulder dislocation. Here, the humerus head glides out completely from the socket. Most times, physical therapy or medical assistance is needed to put the shoulder in place. Instability of the shoulder can be to the front (anterior instability), to the back (Posterior instability), or in more than one direction (multidirectional instability). Anterior instability is the most common form of shoulder instability.
Symptoms of Shoulder Instability
The common symptoms of shoulder instability include

Feeling of the shoulder sliding out of the socket

Pain in the shoulder

Recurrent episodes of the shoulder giving way

Most times these episodes of the shoulder sliding out of the socket usually occur when the individual is carrying out an activity like throwing a ball or reaching out for something behind. If left untreated, especially with shoulder dislocation, these symptoms may begin to develop

Complete loss of shoulder function and severe sharp pain in the shoulder


Needles like pain and numbness in the shoulder.

Treatment for Shoulder Instability
Physical therapy is recommended first to treat shoulder instability. At Polygon PT, your physical therapist through some series of motion and strengthening exercises will relieve pain, and restore stability and full-motion to your shoulder.
How long does it take to recover?
You should expect to start seeing results after a few weeks once you begin physical therapy. Although, individual cases vary. Complete recovery may take 3-9 months to achieve full stability.
Bring Stability Back to Your Shoulder Today
You don’t have to stop playing the sports you love, or let an unstable shoulder hinder your normal activities. Join numerous patients who have achieved shoulder stability using physical therapy. If you have dislocated your shoulder recently, or you’re experiencing the symptoms of shoulder instability contact us now by requesting an appointment with a physical therapist.