Labrum is a type of cartilage that is found in the low glenoid cavity of the shoulder joint such as the joint of the hip which is a ball and socket joint. It is situated in an area where the arm connects itself to the body. It is a structure that appears similar to a cup found within the socket to provide space for the head of the arm bone to fit inside the socket.
An injury to the shoulder joint can tear the labrum where the head of the shoulder bone can slide slightly out of the socket and this condition is known as subluxation. If the whole head of the humerus is out of the socket, it will result into a tear in the labrum or also known as dislocated joint of the shoulder. A tear in the labrum will cause pain and discomfort in the joint of the shoulder and there is difficulty in moving the arm.
Causes of a torn shoulder labrum
- A direct traumatic injury caused on the joint of the shoulder can damage and tear the labrum.
- Overuse of the arm which typically occurs among athletes, especially sports which require throwing movement such as swinging the tennis racket, javelin throwing or even in cricket.
- Moving the arms upwards and backwards as well as repeated stretching can cause damage to the labrum in the anterior part of the socket. Small damage and tearing of the labrum puts the shoulder in a severely unstable state where the ball of the humerus slips out of the socket which is called dislocation.
- Individuals who engage in weightlifting, baseball players and golf players are also prone to end up with a torn labrum
The individual experiences a popping sound and catching sensation once there is a rip in the labrum that it usually occur when engaging arm movement. There is soreness in the joint of the shoulder, specifically when the shoulder is lifted over the head or throwing something and taking the arms backwards, but sometimes the tear does not cause any pain. The shoulder will become weak and negligent because the stability of the labrum is lost. Overuse of the arm as well as lifting weights can result to subluxation or dislocation of the joint of the shoulder.
Treatment and home remedies for a torn labrum
- The individual should take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication in order to lessen pain and corticosteroids should be given if there is severe pain and swelling.
- Apply alternately hot and cold compress since it helps provide relief from pain and also help promote quick healing of the affected area.
- Once the pain and swelling has reduced, seek the help of a physical therapist after a few days in order to help improve the range of motion of the joint of the shoulder.
- After a few more weeks, the therapist may start more extensive training exercises in order to strengthen the muscles and stability of the joint of the shoulder.
- It takes about six to eight weeks for the condition to fully heal.
- If the symptoms still persist even with conservative treatment, seek medical help immediately.