Dee Why Chiropractor Treatments

SLAP tears of the shoulder

A SLAP tear stands for superior labrum anterior and posterior. This is a very descriptive acronym that describes the exact location and direction of the tear that occurs to the cartilage ring of the shoulder joint during this particular type of injury. In a SLAP lesion the biceps tendon (long head) pulls on the cartilage where it joins to the shoulder joint and tears it.

Causes of SLAP tears of the shoulder

SLAP lesions are caused by the biceps tendon pulling on and ripping the cartilage of the shoulder (superior labrum). This pulling can happen all at once with an aggressive pull such as in acute trauma (people under 40) or it can come from persistent little pulls that wear the cartilage down such as in overhead sports (people over 40). Common causes may include:

  • Falls on an outstretch hand (FOOSH)
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Carrying a heavy object
  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Athletes who are required to perform repetitive overhead movements

Symptoms of SLAP tears of the shoulder

The most common symptoms of SLAP tears would include:

  • Locking or popping of the shoulder
  • Shoulder pain at night or rest
  • Shoulder pain during sport or activity
  • Feeling of a dead arm
  • Feeling of an unstable shoulder

Treatment of SLAP tears of the shoulder

Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) is a shoulder treatment centre of excellence. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists use non-surgical treatments to reduce the pain associated with SLAP tears and give exercises to restore and improve the function of the shoulder. In some cases our chiropractors or physiotherapists may need to send you for a surgical opinion if the condition isn’t improving with non-surgical treatments. The key principles that our chiropractors and physiotherapists focus on when treating SLAP tears of the shoulder are:

  • Reduce pain
  • Improve shoulder mobility
  • Improve shoulder endurance
  • Improve shoulder strength
  • Improve shoulder power
  • Improve sports specific movements and tasks

Please read these articles on common shoulder problems for greater understanding


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