Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

Chronic instability causes several symptoms. When the shoulder slips, but does not dislocate, or come completely out of the socket, it is called subluxation. The shoulder may actually feel loose. This commonly happens when the hand is raised above the head. Subluxation of the shoulder usually causes a quick feeling of pain, like something is slipping or pinching in the shoulder.

The shoulder may become so loose that it starts to dislocate frequently. This can be a real problem, especially if you can’t get it back into the socket and must go to the emergency room for assistance to get the shoulder back into the joint. A shoulder dislocation is usually very painful and the shoulder may look abnormal in appearance. Any attempted movement results in extreme pain. A dislocated shoulder can also lead to damage of the nerves around the shoulder.

If the nerves have been stretched, a numb spot may develop on the outside of the arm, just below the top point of the shoulder. Several of the shoulder muscles may become slightly weak until the nerve recovers. The weakness is usually temporary.

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