Sensorimotor contribution to shoulder stability: effect of injury and rehabilitation

Man Ther. 2006 Aug;11(3):197-201. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2006.04.002. Epub 2006 Jun 14.


Shoulder joint stability is the humeral head remaining or promptly returning to proper alignment within the glenoid fossa. This is mediated by both mechanical and dynamic restraint mechanisms. Coordination of these restraint systems is required for shoulder joint stability. The sensorimotor system is defined as all of the sensory, motor, and central integration and processing components involved in maintaining joint stability. The sensorimotor system is comprised of several components including proprioception, joint position sense, kinesthesia, sensation of force, and neuromuscular control. With joint injury, not only are the mechanical restraints disrupted (joint capsule, glenoid labrum, etc.) but also, the sensorimotor system is affected. Restoration of the sensorimotor system has been shown to occur through both surgical and conservative intervention and rehabilitation. Surgery has been shown to restore both mechanical restraints and the sensorimotor system. Specific rehabilitation techniques have also been effective at improving the sensorimotor system in healthy and pathological patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology