The shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint, therefore is more predisposed to dislocation –when the head of the upper arm bone pops from the shoulder socket. A dislocated shoulder, although common, is extremely debilitating considering the shoulder joint is so critical to many daily activities. Recovering from a dislocated shoulder injury often takes a few months with a proper rehabilitation course and treatment. If you suspect you may have a dislocated shoulder, the most important thing is to immediately stop any activities that could aggravate the shoulder joint and see your physician.
If your doctor or therapist diagnosis a dislocated shoulder, they will often ease the bone back into it’s socket with a process called “reduction.” Reduction involves resetting the ball of the bone back into the shoulder socket using slow, controlled movements to first flex the elbow, then rotate the upper-arm bone.
It is important to utilize cold and compression therapy on your injury to reduce pain and swelling in the joint. The PowerPlay Shoulder Wrap provides cold therapy as well as intermittent pneumatic compression to deliver the benefits of cold and compression and speed recovery time.
It is often recommended to keep the shoulder immobilized with a sling while keeping your wrists and fingers moving to maximize mobility, avoid stiffness, and maintain a healthy blood flow. During dislocated shoulder rehab, some patients also take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling.
After a few weeks, per your Physical Therapist or physician, several exercises will be introduced in order to restore mobility. It is important to start a Physical Therapy regimen as soon as possible in order to heal better and faster. Pendulum exercises will help recondition the joint’s range of motion, and strengthening exercises will support muscle ability and movement. The goal of dislocated shoulder rehab is to bring the injured shoulder to the same level of strength and mobility as the uninjured shoulder – as it was previous to the injury. Many doctors generally recommended waiting 8-10 weeks before partaking in shoulder-based activities such as throwing, catching and weight training.
Even after the rehab course, it is beneficial to continue your cold and compression therapy to keep ahead of any future injuries and reduce swelling in the joint after shoulder centered exercise. If you have dislocated your shoulder before, you’re more likely to dislocate it again, so stay mindful when taking part in activities that could lead to a second injury.