Chartered Physiotherapists

Specialists in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability can be post-traumatic as result of an acute accident causing dislocation of the joint or can be atraumatic due to increased ligamentous laxity in the joint capsule. Atraumatic presentations of anterior shoulder instability are common in athletes who have to perform repetitive overhead throwing movements such as tennis players or baseball pitchers.

In some patients instability in the shoulder joint is multidirectional and is usually associated with overall ligamentous laxity throughout the body. The symptoms of shoulder instability include recurrent dislocation or subluxation, pain and sometimes ‘dead arm’ syndrome.


Shoulder instability is treated with strengthening exercises to target the muscles which stabilise the shoulder joint. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will progress you through an intensive rehabilitation program to help build strength in the shoulder joint stabilizers (rotator cuff muscles) and scapular stabilisers. Depending on the direction of instability in the shoulder joint our physiotherapists might place greater emphasis on strengthening the muscle groups which oppose the direction of instability. In cases where conservative strengthening fails to result in improvement we have links with Irelands leading orthopaedic shoulder specialists and can refer you on for further review.

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