Shoulder instability

Traumatic shoulder instability

Following a first-time dislocation/injury, your arm may be put in a sling. Your doctor or physiotherapist will advise you on when to remove it to exercise.

  • Changes to your activity/rest: Making changes to the activities you do does not mean that you have to stop moving or stop using your shoulder altogether. Try to avoid activities that involve lifting your arm over your head, or contact sports for the first three months after the dislocation.
  • Painkillers and/or anti-inflammatories: Simple painkillers such as paracetemol can be used to dull the pain, but they do not cure the problem. Anti-inflammatories can also be effective. It is best to consult your GP if you have not taken these before.
  • Your physiotherapist will guide you with an exercise programme to help regain shoulder function.

Non traumatic (or Atraumatic) shoulder instability

This is the abnormal motion or position of the shoulder joint that happens without any history of injury. See your GP for a referral to physiotherapy which is advised to improve the strength and control around the shoulder.