Shoulder instability: Overstretched arms

Shoulder instability puts an individual at risk for injuries such as sprains, strains and dislocations. Once the arms and shoulders are overly stretched out, the tendons, muscles and ligaments become lengthened beyond their normal range of motion that leads to shoulder instability. Once an individual ends up with a shoulder injury, a doctor should be consulted for treatment.

Close look on shoulder instability

Always bear in mind that overly stretched muscles eventually deactivate and lose their capability to normally contract, thus reducing overall stability of the joint. Once the ligaments are overly stretched, it also leads to joint instability. In addition, reduction in arm muscle activation as well as ligament stabilization increases the risk for shoulder injuries.

Who are at risk?

Many athletes who are at risk for overstretching and shoulder injuries include gymnasts and baseball pitchers. Certain sports which increase the risk for acute overstretching of the arms due to falls include volleyball, football and baseball. Those who engage in yoga with poorly executed positions will also overstretch the arms and lead to shoulder injuries.

Muscle and tendon strains

Once the arm is overly stretched, the surrounding muscles of the shoulder can end up strained or pulled which results to a torn muscle. The tendon in which the muscle is attached to can also overstretch and end up strained.

Shoulder injuries

Many athletes who are at risk for overstretching and shoulder injuries include gymnasts and baseball pitchers.

A tendon or muscle strain might be an incomplete or full rupture. The symptoms include pain, point tenderness and swelling. When managing a possible tendon or muscle strain, it is vital to stop any activity, apply an ice pack and seek medical care.

Ligament sprains

When the shoulder joint and arm is overstretched due to falls or reaching for a ball, the ligaments end up sprained or extended beyond the normal limits. The ligaments are responsible for attaching the bones that comprises the shoulder joint. The symptoms include swelling and pain but readily managed with application of an ice pack and adequate rest.

Labral tear

Overstretched arms can increase the wear and tear on the labrum which results to tearing and fraying. The glenoid labrum is the cartilage surrounding the shoulder joint to stabilize the shoulder. A torn labrum can also develop secondary to a subluxation or dislocation with symptoms such as pain, catching and diminished range of motion.

Subluxation and dislocations

Overstretched muscles and ligaments around the shoulder joint increase the instability as well as the risk for subluxations or dislocations. When it comes to shoulder dislocation, it occurs once the shoulder joint is moved out of its socket and should be reduced or restored manually.

Subluxation of the shoulder occurs once it returns to its socket naturally. Dislocation or subluxation involves overstretching of the ligaments which increases the risk for future dislocations and shoulder injuries. The symptoms include numbness, pain and diminished range of motion. After a dislocation or subluxation, it is vital to seek medical care right away.


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