Rehab Shoulder Instability: Phase Four

Rehab Shoulder Instability: Phase Four


I think I’m ready to get back to my sport, what can I do to make sure?



Our rehab protocol for shoulder instability (dislocation and/or subluxation) is divided into four phases based on what the goal of therapy is for certain points in time during an individual’s progression with the goal of returning back to sport. The fourth & final phase of rehab is focused on sport specific skills & return to sport testing. In this phase, it is necessary to go through proper functional/specific testing to measure the athletic output of the injured shoulder compared to the healthy shoulder before going back to practices or games. In this phase of rehab, our favorite return to play test is the Single Arm Seated Shotput. Here’s how to perform this protocol:

  1. Sit in a chair without armrests (or in this case on the floor) and place your legs on an additional chair in front of you
  2. Place your nonthrowing arm across your chest and have something to fasten it to the chair (theraband in this example)
  3. For this test, you are going to want a 6-8 pound medicine ball or the closest alternative possible
  4. Warm up as needed with the same amount of throws on both arm (4 or less) and then proceed to throw 3 times on each arm
  5. Mark the distance from the point of contact on each throw
  6. The goal is to have at least 90% symmetry in distance side to side.

If you perform this test properly and are within 90% of the distance in your non-injured shoulder, then it may finally be time to get back to your sport. Thank you for tuning in to our Shoulder Instability Series!


Contact us here if you’re interested in a complete rehab program!


Featured Image By: IAAF

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