fsrc SLAP Tear hits close to home - Shoulder Rehab & Performance

SLAP Tear hits close to home

During the holidays, we get to spend time with visiting relatives.  Often, it’s the only time we get to see them all year.  My sister always comes home to Alabama to visit our parents for Christmas.  During her stay this time, she asked me how the Rotater business was doing and was excited to hear that:

  • 5 NFL teams are using the Rotater
  • we just sent a large order to the US Navy SEALS
  • we recently met Donald Trump

MRI Results – SLAP Tear!

Suzan (my sister) asked me what a SLAP tear was and if the Rotater would help her.  I had posted an article about SLAP tears back in September, so I pulled it up on the web and discovered the video I had posted was no longer available – it was a great video, too.  I have yet to find a suitable replacement.



Anyway, to make a long story shorter, Suzan had an MRI done just prior to coming home for Christmas and it revealed that she had a SLAP tear.  That doesn’t really surprise me.  She is a life-long athlete who went to college on a basketball scholarship, played competitive softball into her 30’s and has trained with weights for the last 20 years.

Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior Tear

– what does that mean?  If you’ll look at the picture to the above, you’ll see an image of a shoulder ( without the upper arm ).  The oblong structure labelled “GLENOID LIG.” is where the ball of your upper arm would be.  It is maintained in that position by the rotator cuff ( not shown ).

Notice the BICEPS ligament attaches at the top of and to the GLENOID LIG. A SLAP tear occurs when there is a separation of the GLENOID LIGAMENT in front of the BICEPS LIGAMENT (anterior) and behind the BICEPS LIGAMENT (posterior) – if you draw a line from one blue arrow to the other and imagine peeling the GLENOID LIGAMENT away from the bony structure of the GLENOID FOSSA, you would will have a SLAP tear.

Symptoms of a SLAP tear

  • A dull throbbing ache in the joint.  This can be brought on by very strenuous exertion or simple household chores. Sufferers notice that they turn to ice packs more frequently for relief.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to shoulder discomfort. The SLAP lesion decreases the stability of the joint which when combined with lying in bed causes the shoulder to drop. This in turn pulls on the muscles and ligaments causing discomfort.
  • For an athlete involved in a throwing sport such as baseball, pain and a catching feeling are prevalent.
  • Any applied force overhead or pushing directly into the shoulder can result in impingement and catching sensations.

Community of SLAP tear sufferers

slaptear.com is an interactive website that offers extensive and easy-to-understand information – usually from the patients point of view.  It’s worth a visit.

The Real Scientific Explanation of SLAP tears

Mike Reinold, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, is considered one of the top experts in the fields of physical rehabilitation and sports medicine.  Mike has written several very good articles about SLAP tears.  If you want the compete 411, then take a look at the following articles by Mike:

How to test for a SLAP tear – a video by Mike Reinold

Will the Rotater help if you have a SLAP tear?

The answer is a qualified no!  The tear must be surgically reattached and allowed to fuse / grow together.  However, after surgery and when you doctor releases you to begin physical therapy, then the Rotater can be instrumental in helping you to regain your range of motion.

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About Chris Melton

Chris Melton is an entrepreneur, blogger and one of the owners of Joint Mechanix, LLC ... the creators of the Rotater ... a rotator cuff rehab tool used by physical therapists, athletic trainers, athletes and proactive shoulder rehab patients.


  1. Great article Chris, extremely informative. Thanks.

    I hope everthing works out for your sister.


  2. Hi Derek,

    Thanks for your input. My sister is doing well, but still has not had SLAP surgery.

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