Risk Factors and Treatments for a Dislocated Shoulder
posted by Mitchell Larsen, MD | March 13, 2019
Because it is the body’s most mobile joint, the shoulder is easily susceptible to dislocation. That said, there are certain activities that increase your odds of sustaining this type of injury:
If you have intense shoulder pain or know that you have dislocated your shoulder, seek medical attention immediately. If this is your first dislocation, treatment may involve nothing more than popping the shoulder back in its socket. The pain should stop immediately after that. However, if this is a repeat event for you, your shoulder is likely damaged to the extent that relocation and rest are not enough. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons may be torn or the blood vessels and nerves surrounding the joint could be damaged. If not corrected via surgery, you may experience severe shoulder pain, frequent dislocation and repeat injuries over the course of your lifetime.
Depending on how severe the dislocation was and how many times you have injured your shoulder in the past, your doctor may immobilize your shoulder for a few weeks. He or she may also recommend that you ice your shoulder three to four times a day until you regain your strength. Once the pain has subsided and the swelling has gone down, your doctor may encourage you to participate in physical therapy. During your sessions, the therapist will guide you through exercises designed to increase your shoulders range of motion and strengthen the muscles. A secondary goal of rehabilitation is to prevent future dislocations from occurring.
If you have dislocated your shoulder once, it is likely to happen again. Talk to your doctor about strength training exercises and what you can do to prevent recurrent injuries.
“Dislocated Shoulder.” OrthoInfo. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/dislocated-shoulder/
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.