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Food & Health

Shoulder Dislocation: What to Expect

2 Mins read

The shoulder joint is one of the more mobile joints. It has the ability to turn in a wide variety of directions, but this ability can also make it easy to dislocate it out of the socket if you are not careful. While a shoulder dislocation is very painful, once the joint is back to where it should be, the pain will begin to subside.


What Is a Dislocated Shoulder?

A shoulder dislocation is an injury to your shoulder where it pops out of the socket that connects it to your upper torso. If you suspect, you may have one, review the shoulder dislocation symptoms & treatment options that are available to help you understand what to look for and get back to having better mobility in no time at all.

Symptoms of a Shoulder Dislocation:

The following are symptoms that many people experience with a shoulder dislocation:

  • Swelling
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Bruising around the joint
  • Intense, sometimes unbearable pain
  • Inability to move your shoulder or rotate it normally
  • Numbness around the shoulder joint

In rare cases, you may discover that a shoulder dislocation has torn ligaments or tendons in the shoulder area. Your doctor will do a full workup to ensure everything is where it should be if you still continue to experience any symptoms after treatment.

Treatment of a Shoulder Dislocation:

Depending on the severity of your shoulder dislocation, there are a few different treatment methods:

  • Closing Reduction: This involves some gentle moves to help your shoulder bones go back to their proper locations. You may require a muscle relaxant or sedative, depending on the amount of pain and swelling, for this process to occur. When your bones are back in place, the pain should subside almost immediately.
  • Surgery: For weak shoulder joints and ligaments, you may experience recurring dislocations. In rare cases this may require surgery, especially if you have damage to your nerves and blood vessels.
  • Medication: For the first few days you may still experience some pain or swelling, which will require some pain medication to keep you comfortable.
  • Immobilising the Shoulder: You may get a splint or even a sling to wear for a few days or weeks to keep you from moving your shoulder. The duration of wearing these devices will vary depending on the severity of your injury.

Diagnosis: The muscle spasms you may experience during your shoulder dislocation can sometimes make it hurt much more than it should. After your pain and swelling subside, your doctor may prescribe you rehabilitation exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the joint and prevent further damage.

A shoulder dislocation is one injury that almost immediately resolves itself after it is put back into place. If you continue to experience pain or chronic dislocations, this is something that you will want to speak to your doctor about immediately, as they may have additional methods of treating your shoulder dislocations as you’ve read above. Additionally, rehabilitation or physical therapy may aid you in the process of preventing future shoulder dislocations. 

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