Rate this post

Is Shoulder Pain Caused By A Labral Tear

Shoulder pain (or arthralgia pain) is a common adult or athlete health issue resulting from injuries, overuse, and age-related wear and tear. A labral tear, a shoulder joint soft tissue disorder, may cause shoulder discomfort. The labrum is an important component of the shoulder joint, providing stability and cushioning to the articulation between the scapula, humerus, and collarbone.

Let’s learn about “Is shoulder pain caused by a labral tear (SLAP tear)?” & it’s an overview.


What is Shoulder Labrum Tear?

A shoulder labral tear or glenoid labrum tear is an injury to the labrum, the flexible cartilage surrounding the shoulder socket. A SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior tear) is a form of labral tear that entails a tear (incision) at the top of the labrum where it connects to the biceps tendon. SLAP tears are common in athletes and others who perform repeated overhead movements and may cause shoulder pain and instability.

Shoulder Labrum Tear Symptoms

A shoulder labral tear may cause many symptoms. Symptoms of a labral tear include:

  • Chronic shoulder pain
  • Pain during overhead motions (also known as painful arc syndrome)
  • Crepitus sensations such as catching, locking, or grinding feeling
  • Shoulder subluxation or dislocation
  • Reduce shoulder strength, especially when lifting objects
  • Insufficient range of motion

Not everyone with a labral tear has similar symptoms, and others may have mild symptoms.

Shoulder Labrum Tear Test

Due to overlapping symptoms, diagnosing a labral tear is often challenging. Dr. Aashish Arbat, an orthopaedic surgeon in Pune, starts with a thorough physical exam to examine a range of motion, strength, and instability. These may consist of the following:

  • X-rays: X-rays cannot directly see the labrum, but they can rule out other shoulder disorders, including fractures or degenerative changes.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI scan of soft tissues may improve a labrum diagnosis.
  • MRI Arthrogram: A contrast dye gets injected into the shoulder joint before the MRI to improve labrum visibility and measure labral tear stability.
  • Other tests such as O’Brien, Crank, and Apprehension tests also help diagnose labral tears.

Labral Tear Shoulder Treatment

The severity, age, activity level, and patient health determine labral tear treatment. Before contemplating surgery, non-surgical therapies are often recommended. These may consist of:

  • Activity moderation and rest: Avoiding or reducing pain-inducing activities may help repair the labrum injury.
  • Physical therapy: Working with a trained physical therapist may strengthen shoulder muscles and stabilize the joint.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) decrease inflammation and control pain.
  • Cortisone injections: These injections reduce pain and swelling in the afflicted region.


The common query of “Is shoulder pain caused by a labral tear?” answer is “Shoulder pain from a labral or SLAP tear may affect everyday living”. Understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for a labral tear may help patients get prompt medical attention.


Is shoulder pain caused by a labral tear?

Yes, a labral tear can cause shoulder pain. Torn labrums may cause discomfort, weakness, and reduced range of motion in the shoulder.

How serious is a torn labrum?

The severity of a torn labrum depends on the tear, age, and activity level. A minor tear might not trigger symptoms or need surgery, but a deeper labrum or SLAP tear can lead to chronic pain and functional difficulties.

Does torn labrum shoulder recovery without surgery?

Some people may recover from a torn labrum without surgery, especially if the rupture is minimal and does not affect shoulder stability. However, adhering to non-surgical measures (mentioned above) promptly helps alleviate symptoms and promote recovery.

Are patients face challenges living with a torn labrum?

Living with a torn labrum can be challenging, but patients can find pain relief and regain shoulder function with the proper treatment and management.

Is there any specific shoulder labrum tear pain location?

The severity and location of the labral tear determine where pain occurs. Labral tears may cause severe shoulder discomfort, particularly during labrum-stressing activities. Depending on the tear’s location, shoulder, and arm discomfort may migrate to the front or back of the shoulder.

Dr. Aashish Arbat – The Best Orthopedic doctor in Pune

Dr. Aashish Arbat is a well-known Shoulder replacement surgeon in Pune for his innovative joint replacement, arthroscopy, and joint conservation techniques. He is an expert in Mako Robotics, 3D Robotics, and Anatomical Joint Replacement. His dedication to his patients and 22 years of experience have made him a highly regarded Orthopaedic Surgeon in Pune, Thane, and throughout Maharashtra.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or suspect a labral tear, consult with Dr. Aashish, an orthopedic doctor in Pune, who can provide expert advice and personalized treatment options tailored to your needs and condition. 

Remember that early intervention and appropriate care of shoulder pain caused by a labral tear can result in a quicker and more successful recovery. This will allow you to resume your regular activities with less discomfort and enhanced shoulder function.