Shoulder dislocation

Shoulder Dislocation

If you suspect you have dislocated your shoulder you should immediately attend your
nearest A&E department. DO NOT TRY TO RELOCATE THE ARM YOURSELF – this can cause
damage to tissues, nerves and blood vessels at the shoulder joint. Avoid moving the upper
arm as much as possible. If possible, get someone to make a simple sling to hold the lower
arm across the chest, the elbow should be bent at a right angle. Place something soft like a
blanket or pillow between your arm and the side of your chest.

What does a dislocated shoulder look like?

  • It will be very painful and you will be unable to move the arm
  • The shoulder will look more squared than round
  • You might see a lump/bulge under the skin at the shoulder

How does a shoulder dislocation happen?

Common examples include falling heavily onto the arm, playing a contact sport or sports
related accidents. A shoulder dislocation can happen more easily in someone with joint hypermobility.
A shoulder dislocation occurs when the top of the upper arm (humeral head) pops out of it’s
socket. The shoulder is one of the most frequently dislocated joints because the humeral head’s
socket is very shallow. This allows for great mobility of the arm in lots of different directions,
but stability is therefore sacrificed.

Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash

Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

You will initially be assessed at A&E where you will usually have an X-Ray. If the team
establishes there are no associated fractures tor tears that require further attention, your
shoulder will be manipulated back into the shoulder joint (known as a reduction).
Physiotherapy can be necessary and beneficial following a dislocation to rehabilitate and
strengthen your shoulder to it’s previous function. Without physical therapy your shoulder
will remain unstable and at a higher risk of re-injury.

Physiotherapy can help with a range of symptoms following a shoulder dislocation including:

  • Pain
  • Reduced shoulder stability
  • Reduced range of movement
  • Reduced strength
  • Muscle spasms

A physiotherapist can provide:

  • Detailed assessment of your specific needs
  • Manual therapy
  • Personalised, progressive exercise programme. Addressing mobility, strength,
    stability and activity/sports specific muscular retraining.

Further Information

If you have any questions about back or shoulder pain, or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please click here to book. Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire

For all enquiries : Contact – Physioflexx Ayrshire on 01560 483200.

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