Shoulder dislocation is a type of injury that occurs when the upper arm bone, medically known as the humerus, comes out of the socket located in the shoulder blade or scapula. This injury is usually caused by forceful rotation or abduction, which is when the shoulder is moved away from the body.
Did you know that shoulder dislocations are the most prevalent type of joint dislocation in the human body? They tend to occur more frequently in men than women and in individuals who participate in contact sports or have a history of shoulder injuries.
It's important to be aware of these risk factors and take proper precautions to prevent shoulder dislocations from happening.
The symptoms of a shoulder dislocation include:
- Sudden, severe pain in the shoulder.
- The shoulder is visibly out of place.
- The arm cannot be moved.
- Swelling and bruising around the shoulder.
If you have a shoulder dislocation, it is important to see a doctor immediately. The doctor will examine the shoulder and may order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Shoulder Dislocation
If you're a contact sports athlete, have fallen hard on your shoulder, or just had bad luck that resulted in shoulder strain, there is a serious chance that you have just dislocated your shoulder.
Due to its ball and socket joint with the most mobility among our joints, it's no wonder why this is possible. When reinserting the shoulder back into place, shoulder dislocation recovery involves several steps, such as protecting your shoulder to prevent further injury.
Managing the Pain
Dislocating your shoulder for the first time, whether it is due to a fall or an active sport, can be a painful and unexpected experience. The severity of the injury will determine the recovery time, which may take several days or even weeks. However, there are several effective ways to manage the pain and promote healing.
Below are some of the best methods that can help alleviate pain and facilitate the recovery process.
Cold therapy is a great option to treat your dislocated shoulder. The cold will decrease the pain by cutting off the flow of sensations. It will also help to reduce swelling in soft tissues. Use a shoulder cold pack with compression to chill the entire shoulder while putting minimal pressure on the area. Use an ice wrap for 20 minutes for two days after a dislocation.
Sacksy Thyme Cold Therapy pack for Shoulder Dislocation Recovery:
The Sacksy Thyme Cold Therapy pack is designed to provide targeted cold therapy to the shoulder area, making it an excellent solution for individuals recovering from shoulder dislocation. The pack is made of high-quality materials that are designed to be durable and long-lasting.
After the initial injury phase has passed (typically 3-7 days, depending on the severity), you can exercise it with heat. For example, a Microwavable herbal heating pad or even a warm towel over the injured area will promote blood flow (which is good as it encourages healing), soothe sore muscles, and helps you get back on your feet quicker than without treatment.
Like cold packs that must be avoided for 72 hours after an injury, heat treatments should also be undertaken at 20-minute intervals at most. We recommend removing it from potentially hazardous areas since prolonged contact can result in severe burns!
Sacksy Thyme herbal heating pad for Hip Shoulder Dislocation Recovery:
Resting Your Shoulder
Rest should be your biggest concern after a shoulder dislocation. It's not the time to get into new projects or hobbies, including starting a house project or any heavy lifting you enjoy during downtime, like gardening.
Avoid moving your arm above shoulder level and keep it close to your body in particular positions as much as possible. Your cape in a sling can remind you how important it is to let this injury recover before you start working on anything physical that strains it.
Physical Therapy & Exercises
The shoulder is a complicated joint, and shoulder pain can be unbearable when something goes wrong. A physical therapist is perfect to see in this situation because they are specially trained to deal with soft tissue problems and offer solutions that won't make things worse or even permanently injure you.
The physical therapist will help you develop a set of exercises to strengthen your upper body and get your flexibility back up to par as soon as possible. To recover on schedule and avoid extra injuries, you must keep all your scheduled follow-up appointments with your local physical therapist!
After a shoulder dislocation, you might experience instability in that area, although thankfully, this can be overcome using several mobility aids. A rotating reacher can help you reach items high on a shelf or in a closet and make them easier to manage.
This is an ideal product when you don't want to stretch as far or feel uncomfortable while reaching overhead. Similarly, a dressing stick will reduce the bending and twisting of your arm and shoulder as they are used to putting on those tops; what's more, this will make your mobility much easier after the dislocation has healed!
Please don't move it when you suspect you have dislocated your shoulder. It will prevent additional damage to the area and promptly help you see an orthopedic specialist: immediate treatment is critical! A sling can help maintain the position of your dislocated shoulder until you can be treated by an orthopedic specialist or, better yet, an emergency room doctor.
Medical Treatment Options
When a shoulder is dislocated, the main goal is to get the humerus ball back into the socket as quickly as possible. Essentially, it's essential for individuals with shoulders that are entirely or partially dislocated to get medically treated by a healthcare professional to prevent further injury and pain from ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
A closed reduction is when a doctor on the team sets off to help make their patients healthier by manipulating their limbs into better positions using various tools or manipulating the joints. It can be done under light sedation because some exercises might alter an individual's mental state.
Don't let this scare you! It does not cause any harm. If done correctly and by a trained professional, you can be 100% safe in their hands when undergoing a procedure such as this one. As for what constitutes a more complex case? The longest one is about 10 minutes.
They'll let you know beforehand, but most cases are quick-fire guns! After a closed reduction, your doctor can write you an analysis report with X-ray images if there were any complications during your treatment or if no X-rays were necessary!
Doctors recommend wearing a sling to keep your arm safely in place. It will help you prevent dislocating your upper arm and shoulder again. Doctors may also prescribe an exercise program to recover quickly from this injury.
Surgery is often the last resort for patients who have the misfortune of dealing with a chronically dislocated shoulder on more than one occasion. You usually only need surgery if a severe injury to any ligament, nerve, blood vessel, or even shoulder tissue.
An orthopedic surgeon will discuss the benefits and risks of performing this procedure. You'll need to do some time in the hospital right after your surgery, but depending on which kind of repair it was (if it wasn't complete), you'll likely be able to go home that same day.
How long will it take for me to recover after a dislocation?
The recovery time for a shoulder dislocation varies depending on the severity of the injury. Most people make a full recovery within a few weeks. However, some people may have recurrent shoulder dislocations requiring surgery.
How to help prevent shoulder dislocations?
Here are some tips to help you prevent shoulder dislocations:
- Warm up before participating in sports or activities that involve using your shoulders.
- Use proper technique when lifting weights or other activities that could stress your shoulders.
- Strengthen the muscles around your shoulders.
- Wear a shoulder brace if you are at high risk for shoulder dislocations.
If you have any concerns about shoulder dislocations, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your injury risk and develop a plan to prevent shoulder dislocations.
Road to Recovery
A dislocated shoulder is a severe injury that takes 12 to 16 weeks to heal fully. After two weeks, most people can exercise certain body parts but should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous movements for another 12 weeks.
Your recovery plan can be managed with heat/cold sack, immobility, and rehabilitation/physical therapy/exercising after 6 weeks of rest. Work with your healthcare professional to create an individual recovery plan because each patient will differ.