Shoulder Instability

The shoulder joint has been commonly referred to as a “ball and socket”.  In reality, it more closely resembles a golf ball on a tee.  This orientation is inherently unstable, so the body uses the joint capsule and the muscles to help stabilize.  Too much movement causes pain due to overuse of the rotator cuff muscles and possible impingement of the cuff and bursa.  This leads to shut down of the rotator cuff and further weakness/instability, a vicious cycle of events that will continue to worsen.

Rehab Focus Humeral Head Centering.  Get the golf ball to stay on the tee by moving the scapula (tee) underneath the ball to create a firm base of support from which to move.  The muscles responsible for this are Lower Trap, Serratus Anterior, Middle Trap, Rhomboids, and Upper Trap.  These work in an endurance based capacity, meaning they fire minimally all day long.  To match that demand, we recommend low/no weight and maximum repetition (up to 3 sets of 30) per exercise.

Beyond exercises, your therapist will perform some manually resisted exercises to further the proper recruitment and timing of these muscles.  Without this proper timing, the exercises alone are less effective.  Once achieved, your therapist will guide you in a progression that will be activity, hobby, work, or sport specific.