DISLOCATED SHOULDER FAQ

1. I already dislocated my shoulder once. What are the chances it will happen again?

If you’ve dislocated your shoulder once before, keep in mind that you’re now more likely to dislocate it again, and you’ll need to start the process of dislocated shoulder rehab over again.

2. When it comes to dislocated shoulder rehab, what exactly is reduction?

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, and thus the most prone to instability. The frequency of the injury means that reduction is extremely common, though the idea of it might sound frightening to a patient with a dislocated shoulder. Basically, the process of reduction – a critical element of dislocated shoulder rehab – involves resetting the ball of the bone back into the socket. Your healthcare provider should use slow, controlled movements to first flex the elbow, then rotate the upper-arm bone – the humerus. Once the bone is reset, you should hear a ‘clunk,’ and immediately you’ll notice that your pain is diminished.

Remember: most dislocated shoulder reductions are easy, straightforward, and quick.

3. Who is most likely to injure a shoulder and thus require dislocated shoulder rehab?

The most likely demographic to suffer shoulder injuries are the young: in fact, males in their early twenties injure their shoulders the most, probably because, at that age, they can be both active and reckless. However, any athlete may be at risk, especially if he or she tends to use the shoulder or arm. Therefore, tennis players, football players, and swimmers run a higher risk of dislocating a shoulder.

4. Who can help me with my dislocated shoulder rehab?

 Before you consult with anyone else, see your doctor. Only he/she will be able to evaluate the status of your shoulder injury and prescribe appropriate dislocated shoulder rehab techniques. Ask him/her which exercises you should start with, and whether he/she recommends a Certified Physical Therapist. The degree to which your shoulder is injured, along with your lifestyle choices, level of physical activity, and access to physical therapy and other resources, will dictate what your dislocated shoulder rehab looks like.

5. My shoulder hurts, but I can’t tell if it’s dislocated. What signs should I be looking for?

The US Center for Sports Medicine explains that if the shoulder and upper arm are painful – and the pain worsens with movement – the injury is likely that of a dislocated shoulder. Sufferers should look for a large bump around the shoulder – either in the front or the back – and the shoulder may look square, not round. Remember: if in doubt, commence dislocated shoulder rehab right away, with rest, ice, and compression – and call your healthcare provider as soon as possible to make an appointment. Successful dislocated shoulder rehab begins with your initiative.

6. I’ve dislocated my shoulder – what complications should I be worried about?

Proper dislocated shoulder rehab is the key to avoiding complications. However, sometimes difficulties can’t be prevented; the most common include muscle tears, nerve damage around the shoulder area, and chronic shoulder instability. The Mayo Clinic asserts that, especially for those who have repeatedly dislocated their shoulders, some level of instability is to be expected. In rare cases, surgery is a necessary component of dislocated shoulder rehab.

7. Are there any specific products I should be using while performing dislocated shoulder rehab?

Think about purchasing a compression wrap, which will function like a sling while also giving you the option of cold therapy. A well-made, sturdy wrap or sling is a worthwhile investment, and will keep your shoulder protected and safe from further injury. Consider PowerPlay’s Shoulder Wrap, which combines a gel pack with a compression pump for care you can moderate yourself.

8. How common is a dislocated shoulder, and how many Americans seek out dislocated shoulder rehab?

The injury is common among younger athletes, especially those who play ball sports, or who move at high speeds, like alpine skiers. However, anyone is at risk – the shoulder is highly mobile and thus highly unstable. To prevent the likelihood of a dislocated shoulder, try to avoid hard falls while playing sports. Wearing protective gear will guard the shoulder to some degree, and regular exercise will strengthen the muscles that surround and support the shoulder bones.

Where to Find Us

National Athletic Trainers' Association AT Expo
Location: Houston, TX
Date: June 26 - 29

Learn More

Meet Our
Athletes

Name: Patrick Deneen Sport: Freestyle Skiing