Shoulder Instability and Focal Strengthening

Pain & Injury on January 31st, 2011 No Comments

Dislocation Can Lead to Instability

Instability of the glenohumeral joint is typically caused by some type of traumatic event where over-stretching of the joint capsule, ligaments and supporting muscles occurs. The mechanism of injury is often from some type of fall onto the out reached arm and the forces translate through the long lever of the arm. Anatomically the glenohumeral joint has a very delicate balance between mobility and stability. Exhibiting the greatest range of motion in the body, yet the glenohumeral joint has limited ligamentous support and the joint capsule is very lax. Therefore the glenohumeral joint relies heavily upon the rotator cuff muscles to help stabilize the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa. These same muscles along with other prime movers generate 9 different movement patterns at the glenohumeral joint. The typical strengthening program focuses on the the large and prime movers like the Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Pectoralis Major, Deltoid, Trapezius, as well as the small rotator cuff muscles. Once again an overlooked muscle that can help bring the humerus head back up into appropriate alignment with glenoid fossa is the long head of the Triceps Brachii. Focal strengthening of the long head incorporates shoulder extension with elbow extension. I would love to hear success stories related to this approach, it is a recent discovery for me.

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