Shoulder Labral Tears

A labral tear refers to damage or injury to the labrum, which is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of a joint. The labrum can be found in different parts of the body, but it is commonly associated with the shoulder and hip joints.

types of Labral Tears and symptoms

1. SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior)

A SLAP tear is a tear to the upper portion of the labrum in the shoulder joint, close to where the upper bicep tendon attaches. This type of tear is often caused by repetitive overhead motions, sudden trauma, or forcibly pulled/rotated.

  • Pain on the front of the shoulder with overhead shoulder movements.
  • Pain with external rotation of the shoulder.
  • Instability or weakness of the shoulder joint.
  • Catching or locking with shoulder movement
  • Swelling, inflammation, and/or bruising 

2. Bankart Tear

A Bankart tear refers to a tear to the lower portion of the labrum where it attaches to the glenoid fossa (the shallow depression in the scapula bone that creates the shoulder joint). This type of tear commonly occurs when falling on an outstretched arm.

When falling on an outstretched arm, the force of the impact is transmitted through the arm and into the shoulder joint. This force can cause the humerus bone (upper arm bone) to dislocate. Depending on the direction and forces involved, the labrum and other soft tissues around the shoulder joint can be damaged.

  • Pain when reaching forward or overhead.
  • Pain with internal rotation of the shoulder.
  • A feeling of instability or weakness in the shoulder joint.
  • Popping and clicking.
  • Difficulty moving the arm or lifting objects.
  • Swelling, inflammation, and/or bruising 

3. Posterior Labral Tear

A posterior labral tear is a tear in the back portion of the labrum, near the back of the shoulder blade and humerus. It typically occurs as a result of trauma to the back of the shoulder joint, such as a fall onto an outstretched arm or a direct impact to the back of the shoulder. Sometimes, it can be a result of repetitive overhead motions. When the posterior labrum is subjected to excessive force, it can tear or detach from the bone.

  • Pain during overhead motions, such as throwing or reaching.
  • Pain with internal rotation and/or adduction of the shoulder.
  • Difficulty moving the arm or lifting objects.
  • Instability or weakness in the shoulder.
  • Swelling, inflammation, and/or bruising 

How does physiotherapy Treat Arthritis

focus On Functional Improvements

SLAP tears, Bankart tears, and posterior labral tears significantly decrease shoulder function. Your therapist will thoroughly assess your shoulder and set functional goals with you. Your therapist will provide treatments for inflammation, mobility, prescribe exercises, and educate you on how to ensure your best recovery.

management Strategies

Myofascial release: to reduce pain, tightness, and inflammation of the muscles, joints, nerves, and fascia of the affected areas.

Joint mobilization: to promote smooth joint movement and mobility of the affected areas.

Passive range of motion: to improve joint mobility and prevent further stiffening and pain in the joint.

Rotator cuff conditioning: to ensure that the muscles of the shoulder can stabilize the joint which reduces stress onto the labrum.

Correct muscle imbalances: to reverse compensations that restrict optimal muscular control of the shoulder.

Movement pattern conditioning: to facilitate optimal muscle recruitment and smooth joint articulations during shoulder use.

Range of motion: to restore full mobility in the shoulder joint.

Stretching: to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension around the joint.

Strengthening: to improve the activation and stability of the muscles around the joint and reduce stress on the joint.

Home exercise program: individualized exercise prescription to restore optimal and balanced movement.

Acupuncture: use of thin needles to improve local and systemic function, regulate the nervous system, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.

Heat and cold therapy: to manage reduce pain and tension or control inflammation.

Electrostimulation: use of electrical currents to stimulate muscles and reduce pain.

Ultrasound: use of high-frequency sound waves to produce deep tissue heating to reduce muscle tension, fascial tension, and inflammation.

Laser therapy: to improve blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote tissue healing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *