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Dislocated Shoulder?

In order to understand what happens when you dislocate your shoulder, we need to talk about some simple anatomy first. Your shoulder joint is known as a “ball-and-socket” joint and made up of three bones: the collar bone, shoulder blade, and the upper arm (the humerus). The humerus is the “ball” of the joint, while the shoulder blade is the “socket”. A shoulder dislocation is when the ball pops out of the socket. A dislocation can mean the ball is partially or fully popped out of the socket.

Because the shoulder joint is extremely mobile, the opportunity for injury is higher. The most common causes of shoulder dislocation include, but are not limited to, sports injuries, accidents, traffic accidents, falls, and seizures. Anyone can dislocate their shoulder, but they are most common in young men who are often involved in sports and more physical activity.

Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include pain, usually severe, swelling and bruising around the upper arm, numbness, weakness of the arm, neck, hand, or fingers, difficulty moving the arm, and muscle spasms.

A dislocated arm is diagnosed most by an X-ray and an exam by a medical doctor. The first step to treatment depends on the severity of the injury, but in most cases it is to get the humerus back into it’s correct location in with the shoulder blade and collar bone. The doctor will give instructions on wearing a sling, how long to rest, and when it’s time for rehabilitation. That’s where we come in.

Physical rehab for a dislocated shoulder is a very common thing we treat at MedAmerica. Treatment may include gentle, low impact movement, massage, heat or ice therapy, stem therapy, and eventually we will begin building back strength to the area. It is very important that the recovery process involve physical therapy so that the patient may get back full range of motion.