Rehabilitation for Shoulder Instability – Current Approaches

Anju Jaggi*, Susan Alexander
RNOHT - Therapies Dept Brockley Hill Stanmore Middlesex Stanmore HA7 4LP United Kingdom

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© 2017 Anju Jaggi

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the RNOHT - Therapies Dept Brockley Hill Stanmore Middlesex Stanmore HA7 4LP United Kingdom, Tel: +44(0)20-8909-5820; E-mail:



The shoulder relies predominantly on dynamic muscular control to provide stability. Successful treatment is highly dependent upon the correct clinical diagnosis, identification of anatomical structural defects and abnormal movement patterns so that rehabilitation programs can be designed accordingly and individualised to the patient.


A systematic outline is provided to guide the clinician on how to identify muscular insufficiencies both local to the shoulder joint and global muscles that can influence shoulder instability. Management is based on expert experience and current literature.


The Stanmore classification helps to correctly diagnose the type of instability and prioritise management. Symptom modification tests can help to guide management, however assessing individual muscle groups local to glenohumeral control is also recommended.


Physical and psychosocial factors can influence motor control in the presence of pain and injury. A multi-disciplinary approach is required to avoid recurrence of symptoms with rehabilitation focusing on kinetic chain, scapular and gleno-humeral control.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Shoulder, Instability, Exercise, Assessment, Rotator Cuff.