Shoulder Labral Tear Treatment

A Shoulder Labral Tear can cause pain and instability in the shoulder.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of shoulder labral tears aim to:

What is a labral tear?

The labrum is a unique type of fibrocartilage that lines and supports the shoulder joint. The shoulder is what’s known as a ‘ball-and-socket’ joint – here, the labrum serves to keep the ‘ball’ in place and deepen the socket, as well as act as an attachment for surrounding structures, like ligaments. A group of muscles called the rotator cuff helps the labrum keep the ball in the socket.

There are a few different types of labral tears, including:

  • SLAP lesion or tear – SLAP stands for ‘superior labrum anterior and posterior’, meaning the labrum is torn at the top in both the front and back (anterior and posterior) of its attachment to the biceps tendon. n
  • Bankart tear or lesion – often caused by a dislocated shoulder, a Bankart tear occurs due to damage to the lower half of the glenoid socket where the labrum is pulled away during the dislocation, causing instability in the joint
  • Posterior labrum tear – a rare diagnosis often caused by injuries to the back of the shoulder joint which trigger the tear
Question mark

What are the causes of a labral tear?

The exact cause and severity of a labral tear can vary, however there are some common factors which may contribute to diagnosis. These include:

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Sports-related injuries – contact sports
  • General wear and tear of the joints and cartilage over time
  • Falls
  • Trauma – e.g. car accident
  • Sudden blow/force against the shoulder

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the shoulder
    • Felt as though joint is catching, locking, popping or grinding
  • Stiffness/inability to move the arm or shoulder
  • Tenderness
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Reduced strength
  • Slipping out of joint
  • Swelling and bruising
Reducing Muscle Tension

Treatment for Labral Tears

If you suspect you have a labral tear, it is important to see a medical professional. You will likely be referred for imaging to determine the type and severity of the condition.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in reducing associated symptoms. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, driving and strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use neck support or a suitable pillow.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a shoulder labral tear, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by a labral tear? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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