What is shoulder instability and shoulder dislocation?
The shoulder is the most flexible joint of the body. It helps you lift your arm, rotate it, and to reach up over your head. It is able to turn in many directions. With this greater range of motion, however, it can be vulnerable to instability and dislocation.
Shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball of the joint is forced out of the shoulder socket. This usually happens as a result of a sudden injury but can happen without an injury if a person is unusually flexible.
Shoulder dislocations can be partial, with the ball of the upper arm coming just partially out of the socket. This is called a shoulder subluxation. A complete dislocation means the ball comes all the way out of the socket.
Once a shoulder has dislocated, it is vulnerable to repeat episodes. When the shoulder is loose and slips out of place repeatedly, it is called chronic or recurrent shoulder instability.