A SLAP injury is also known as a SLAP tear and occurs in the labrum part of the shoulder joint. The human shoulder joint is in a ball and socket joint design like the hip. The socket part of the joint is quite shallow and unstable. In compensating for this shallow nature of the socket, a cuff of cartilage referred to as the labrum forms a cup within which the arm bone moves. SLAP injuries are most often seen among athletes who participate in overhead throwing activities, for example pitchers.
A SLAP is a labral tear. SLAP is an abbreviation of Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior. The tear occurs in the place where tendons of the biceps attach to the labrum. A SLAP tear may occur due to several reasons. The most common causes include when one falls on the arm, or perhaps doing repetitive activities like throwing, and in many cases can occur while lifting heavy objects.
The area around the labrum is prone to receiving a low supply of blood and this may make it more susceptible to injury. Healing in this part of the body may also take a longer period of time than in places where blood is in rich supply. SLAP tears may also result in chronic shoulder pain.
When one has a SLAP injury, he or she is likely to experience a catching sensation and pain whenever there is a shoulder movement. The tear may be characterized by deep pain within the shoulder and sometimes at the back of the joint. When the pain is felt in the front part of the shoulder, the tear may mostly be related to biceps tendonitis.
SLAP tears may be corrected by surgical operations. Some of these surgical procedures include debridement and SLAP repair. However, in reducing the risk of shoulder injury, especially SLAP injury, proper mechanics and shoulder stabilization exercises are highly recommended.
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