Shoulder Subluxation/ Instability

A partial or incomplete dislocation of the shoulder joint, known as a shoulder subluxation, typically results from alterations in the joint’s mechanical integrity. In subluxation, the humeral head pops back into its socket, hence, not as bad as as a shoulder dislocation.


A shoulder subluxation frequently results from:

  • Trauma. Accidents or injuries that harm the shoulder joint or other stabilizing structures can lead to subluxation. Accidents involving vehicles and falls are typical examples.
  • A sports injury. Sports that entail contact, such as hockey and football, as well as sports that involve falling, like skiing and gymnastics, frequently result in shoulder subluxations.
  • A stroke. Strokes frequently result in muscle weakness, which can cause the shoulder joint to become unstable, followed by a subluxation. According to one study, shoulder subluxations were present in 80% of people who had undergone a stroke.
  • The risk of a subluxation is highest among younger males and other populations who engage in vigorous physical activity.