Shoulder Dislocation And Its Treatment

Golden Clinics Blogs shoulder dislocation an its treatment

Getting back in shape is one of the most common New Year's resolutions each year. An unexplained pain in your shoulder can mean a lot of things, like dislocation. In certain situations, the recognition of a dislocated shoulder is as straightforward as looking in a mirror. The affected area may be distinctly disfigured by an unidentified lump or bulge.

Other signs can, however, suggest dislocation in most cases. A dislocated shoulder can cause muscle spasms, in addition to swelling and severe pain. Your discomfort can be made worse by these uncontrollable movements. The pain will also travel your arm up and down, beginning with your shoulder and heading up toward your spine.

When To Seek Medical Attention

If you have dislocated your shoulder from the joint, it is vital that you see your doctor immediately to avoid more discomfort and injury.

Don't move your shoulder or attempt to put it back into position while you wait to see your doctor. You risk damaging your shoulder and joint, as well as the nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, and muscles in that area if you attempt to force the shoulder back into the joint on your own.

Instead, consider splinting or slinging your shoulder in place to prevent it from moving before you see a doctor. It can help relieve pain and swelling by icing the area. Ice may also aid in controlling any internal bleeding or fluid build-up around the joint.

How to Diagnose a Dislocated Shoulder?

Dislocated Shoulder diagnosis

You will be asked by your doctor at your appointment about:

  • How did you hurt your shoulder?
  • How long did your shoulder hurt?
  • What other symptoms have you seen?

If this had ever existed before,

It will allow the doctor to properly diagnose your injuries and manage your symptoms by understanding precisely how you dislocated your shoulder, whether it was from a fall, sports injury, or some other form of accident.

Your doctor will also look at how easily you can lift your shoulder and check to see if when you move it you experience any change in pain or numbness. He'll monitor your pulse to make sure there's no related damage to the artery. Your doctor will also evaluate any damage to your nerves.

In most cases, your doctor can take an X-ray to give you a better picture of your injury. X-rays will reveal any additional damage to the shoulder joint or fractured bones that are not rare for dislocation.

Options For Treatment

Options For Treatment

When your doctor has a good understanding of your injury, your care will begin. To begin with, your doctor will try to reduce your shoulder tightly.

Closed Reduction

This means that your doctor is going to drive your shoulder back into the joint. To help decrease any pain, your doctor can give you a mild sedative or a muscle relaxer beforehand. After the reduction, an X-ray will be done to confirm the correct location of the shoulder.

Your pain should subside as soon as your shoulder is lodged back within your joint


Until your shoulder has been reset, to prevent your shoulder from moving while it recovers, your doctor can use a splint or sling. You will be told by your doctor how long to keep your shoulder stable. It can be anywhere from a couple of days to three weeks, depending on the injury


You may need medicine to help with the pain as you begin to recover and regain strength in your shoulder. Your doctor can prescribe acetaminophen or ibuprofen (Motrin) (Tylenol). To aid with the pain and swelling, you can also add an ice pack.

If your doctor feels that you need something stronger, prescription-strength ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which can be purchased from a pharmacist, is suggested. Hydrocodone or tramadol can also be administered by them.


Surgical intervention may be appropriate in extreme cases. This procedure is used as a last resort only if the closed reduction has failed or if there is serious damage to the surrounding blood vessels and muscles. A dislocation may have an associated vascular injury on rare occasions, either to a main vein or artery. This can require surgery that is urgent. It may involve surgery on the capsule or other soft tissues, but usually at a later date.


Physical therapy will help you recover your strength and expand your movement range. In general, recovery requires supervised or guided exercise at a center for physical therapy. A physical therapist will be recommended by your doctor and will advise you on your next steps.

Depending on the degree of your injury, the form and length of your recovery will vary. For a month or longer, it might require a few appointments a week. You might also be given exercises by your physical therapist for you to do at home. To prevent another dislocation, there may be certain positions you need to avoid, or they may suggest certain exercises based on the type of dislocation you have had. It is necessary to do them regularly and to follow any guidance provided by the therapist.

If the doctor feels it's healthy enough to do so, you should not indulge in sports or another strenuous exercise. Before your doctor cleanses you, participating in these exercises will hurt your shoulder even more.

Home care

To assist with the pain and inflammation, you may ice your shoulder with ice or cold packs. During the first 2 days, apply a cold compress to your shoulder every couple of hours for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

You can try a hot pack on the back as well. The heat will help your muscles relax. For 20 minutes at a time, as you feel the need, you can try this process.


Total recovery from a dislocated shoulder will take anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks. You should be able to return to most activities of daily life after two weeks. You should obey the precise advice of your physician, however. The advice of your doctor is even more important if your goal is to return to sports, gardening, or other hobbies that require heavy lifting. Participating too quickly in these activities will further damage your shoulder and in the future can discourage you from these activities.

It can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months in most cases before you can again engage in strenuous exercise. This can mean taking time off work or moving to a new position temporarily, depending on your career. Speak about the choices open to you with your doctor. Your dislocated shoulder will recover well with proper treatment, and you will be able to resume your everyday activities before you know it.

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