What does a torn shoulder ligament feel like?

Answered by Jason Smith

When it comes to a torn shoulder ligament, the most common symptoms are pain and shoulder instability. The pain typically occurs immediately after an acute injury and can be quite intense. It’s important to note that the severity of the pain can vary depending on the extent of the tear.

At first, the pain may be sharp and intense, making it difficult to move the affected shoulder. Simple activities such as lifting objects or reaching overhead can become extremely painful. The pain may also radiate down the arm or into the neck.

In addition to pain, shoulder instability is a common symptom of a torn ligament. You may experience a sensation of your shoulder “popping out” or feeling loose or unstable with certain movements. This instability can be quite concerning and may make you hesitant to use your shoulder for fear of further injury.

Over time, the pain from a torn shoulder ligament typically begins to settle. In many cases, it improves within six weeks after the initial injury. However, it’s important to note that the healing process can vary from person to person, and some individuals may require longer recovery periods.

It’s worth mentioning that a torn shoulder ligament can significantly impact your daily life and activities. Simple tasks like getting dressed, carrying groceries, or even brushing your hair can become challenging and painful. It’s not uncommon to feel frustrated or limited in your abilities during the recovery process.

To manage the pain and promote healing, your healthcare provider may recommend conservative treatments such as rest, ice, physical therapy, and pain medication. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, especially if the tear is severe or if conservative measures fail to provide relief.

Personal experiences with a torn shoulder ligament can vary greatly. Some individuals may have experienced a traumatic event, such as a fall or sports injury, that caused the tear. Others may have developed the tear gradually over time due to repetitive strain or wear and tear on the ligaments.

Regardless of the cause, living with a torn shoulder ligament can be challenging and may require patience and perseverance throughout the healing process. It’s important to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and to seek support from friends, family, or even support groups to help you navigate through the physical and emotional aspects of the injury.