How to Treat a Dislocated Shoulder Injury
A sudden fall or sharp impact to the shoulder can easily cause the ball of the joint to pop out of socket—resulting in a painful dislocated shoulder injury.
To preserve shoulder mobility and reduce pain following a shoulder dislocation, here are a few treatment options you should follow.
Sling Your Dislocated Shoulder
Following a dislocation, it’s best to immobilize your injured shoulder right away. The most effective way to prevent further injury is by placing and keeping your arm in a sling. If necessary, a temporary sling can be made out of a towel or pillowcase until you receive professional medical assistance.
Go to the Doctor
Although there are plenty of online tutorial videos to follow, do not attempt to relocate your own shoulder—doing so can cause further injury to the sensitive muscles and tendons that connect your arm to your shoulder joint. A medical professional will correctly fix your dislocation and suggest proper care and next steps depending on the severity of your injury.
Ice Your Shoulder
After getting your shoulder back in place, apply ice to the injured area as needed for 20 to 30 minutes every three hours over the next few days. Icing the injury will help to reduce pain, swelling, and discomfort.
Take Pain Medication
To reduce the resulting soreness and throbbing pain from your dislocation, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or other painkillers. Take them as needed but be careful to follow dosage directions for each drug and stay aware of potential side effects.
Exercise Your Shoulder
To expedite your healing process and prevent your shoulder from locking-up due to lack of use, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Whether you are instructed to visit a physical therapy facility or practice stretching and strengthening exercises at home, take it slow and be mindful of your pain-level and limited range of motion so as not to risk re-injury.
Limit Stress to Your Shoulder
Because of the shoulder joint’s instability, once a shoulder has suffered a dislocation, it can easily slip out again. To prevent reinjury, you may have to forego activities that could put excessive stress on your injured shoulder. Repeated shoulder dislocation can result in chronic pain, restricted motion, and severe joint, nerve, and tissue damage. Should your shoulder dislocation result in a torn ligament or tendon, surgery will be recommended.
Consider Surgical Intervention
If you have tried simple remedies and are still suffering chronic pain and swelling from a dislocated shoulder injury, the Advanced Orthopedics Institute can help. The orthopedic surgeons at AOI are on hand to help remedy any discomfort resulting from a shoulder dislocation. If you have any questions about physical therapy for a dislocated shoulder or would like to discuss possible surgical options, Call us today at 352-751-2862 to set up an appointment.