Dee Why Chiropractor Treatments

SLAP tears of the shoulder

A SLAP tear stands for superior labrum anterior and posterior tear. 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.


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


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


The treatment of a SLAP tear depends on several factors such as the location, severity and any complicating factors. Chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments are valuable in the rehabilitation process. Ask you chiro, physio or medical doctor for more information.

Read below for more articles on shoulder conditions