Dislocated Shoulder Signs, Treatment, Recovery and Prevention
Signs of the dislocated shoulder
Symptoms of shoulder separation
Treatments for Dislocated or Separated Shoulders
When I will feel better after Dislocated Shoulder
How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?
Mostly the shoulder injuries such as dislocated shoulder or a separated shoulder make viewers confused. In fact, these are two different issues having distinct symptoms. Here are some important points.
Our shoulders have a shoulder socket where arm bone joints. The shoulder injury especially occurs as a result of arm bone popping out of this socket because of a blow or a fall. Unlike many other bones and joints in the arms such as the elbow, the shoulder joints are highly mobile. This makes it possible to move the upper arm in any direction freely. However, there is a price of every ease. The joints of shoulders are prone to slip from the original place as these are highly unstable.
In most cases, the nerves and tissues around the shoulder joints face extreme injuries when the impact is severe. Permanent weakness and chronic instability may happen if the shoulder continues to dislocate from its original place.
Despite its particular name, it doesn’t cause damages to the shoulder joint. In fact, it causes a tear in the ligaments connecting the shoulder blade and collarbone. This tear in the ligament happens because of a sudden jerk, slip or fall. As it is not anchored or supported, there are chances that collarbone gets out of its place and slips towards the skin close to the top of shoulder. This type of injury creates deformity in the bone structure but it is easy to treat and most people fully recover with the passage of time. A person may face the shoulder dislocation or separation because of the following reasons.
- Falling on the shoulder. The chances of dislocation or separation will be higher if the surface is hard.
- Getting a pressurized hit on the shoulder.
- Trying to avoid injuries while falling on the ground.
The shoulders may dislocate if you twist them sharply beyond your control. Following sports have a higher rate of shoulder injuries.
- Rock climbing.
Read More: Shoulder Pain | Cold Therapy | Ice Pack
What does a dislocated or separated shoulder feels like?
Signs of the dislocated shoulder are as given below.
- A dislocated shoulder causes severe pain in the upper arm as well as shoulder. It also makes it difficult to move around.
- The shoulder gets deformation. It creates a bump in the back or front of the shoulder. However, the bump depends on the type of dislocation.
Symptoms of shoulder separation are as given below.
- Severe pain in the shoulder after the injury occurs.
- Tenderness in collarbone as well as in the shoulder bones.
- Deformation in the shoulder.
The doctors use a thorough exam in order to diagnose the type of injury whether it is a dislocated shoulder or a separated shoulder. The patients may require X-Rays in order to see if the bones are damaged (tears or broken) and other conditions.
Treatments for Dislocated or Separated Shoulders:
A shoulder dislocated from its natural position will require treatment as soon as possible. It is necessary to see a medical emergency right away. The doctors usually try to move back the arm bone in the socket. The arm bone is connected again with the shoulder socket. It is essential to use these treatments as soon as possible. Otherwise, the bones will start swelling and it will make difficult for the doctors to relocate them properly. In this case, patients may face high pain in the shoulder even during the relocation. You will feel little comfort as the pain will reduce after the relocation of arm bone in the shoulder socket.
Once the re-positioning has been done, the only treatment you need is to minimize the swelling and pain. Your doctor will give you different conservative treatments for this purpose. Similar techniques are also used to treat a separated shoulder. However, the following steps are important to heal both injuries.
Icing the Shoulder:
This is just like cold therapy. Icing the shoulder is helpful to minimize swelling as well as pain. It has an immediate impact. Cold therapy presents results within a few minutes. All you have to do is apply ice cubes on the shoulder or injured area for 20 to 30 minutes. This exercise needs to be repeated every 3 to 4 hours. Use this practice for 2 to 3 days until the pain and swelling are gone. For ease of therapy, it would be better to use Coldest Ice Pack. This brings comfort and ease in many ways.
Utilize a Sling:
A sling which is also known as shoulder immobilizer is commonly used for the treatment of dislocated or separated shoulders. It is a special device to ensure that there will be no further damage to the bones. A doctor has to decide about the use of a sling. This depends on the type or severity of the shoulder injury.
Use Anti-Inflammatory Drugs:
Actually, these are anti-inflammatory painkillers. It is necessary to prefer NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) rather than other drugs. Commonly used NSAIDs include Naproxen or ibuprofen. These help to control swelling and pain. Remember, only use prescribed drugs as these medicines are associated with several side effects such as ulcers, bleeding, heart strokes and attacks. Use these drugs according to the guidelines given by your doctor. Using these drugs for longer increases the risks of above-mentioned side effects.
Normally, doctors recommend strengthening and stretching exercises for treatment. These exercises are important to make shoulders or upper arm bones ready for normal working.
In most of the situations, the shoulder dislocation or separation treatment by simple tricks. However, surgical operations are also used to treat these injuries in rare cases. If the damage is severe, surgery is possible. In most cases, the separated shoulder treatment with a surgery especially if the ligaments were broken. This helps to repair the damaged ligaments. After that treatment, the doctor will use a sling to keep the treated shoulder or arm immobile for a period of 6 weeks.
In rare cases, the dislocated shoulder is treated with surgery. It only happens when the injury is severe and positioning the shoulder bone correctly is impossible by tricks. Surgery is also used to tighten the shoulder ligaments if shoulder dislocation is frequent.
When I will feel better after Dislocated or Separated Shoulder Treatment?
How rapidly the injury recovers totally depends on how serious it is. Usually, it takes only 6 weeks to heal separated shoulders. However, the dislocated shoulder may take little longer (3 to 12 weeks in most cases). However, these concepts are based on simple approximations. Different people have a different rate of healing.
Some symptoms of signs of shoulder injuries may last for long. For example, a separated shoulder may leave a permanent sign bump on the shoulder which causes regular pain. Start the rehabilitation process immediately when the acute symptoms disappeared. Usually, Doctors, take this decision. The rehabilitation process is important to make the shoulder muscles limber as well as stronger. These steps help the patients to minimize the chances of shoulder dislocation and separation in future.
Read More: Instant Ice Packs and Cold Therapy
Patients looking to start the rehabilitation process may consider the gentle workouts. You can increase the intensity of workouts with the passage of time as you start to feel better. However, there is no reason, to begin with, such exercises until you discuss the matter with your doctor and he recommends it.
Never rush things as it could be dangerous. If you are hurry to begin sports then consider the gentle options first. For example, those who love basketball should consider tossing and throwing the ball at full speed. Don’t move the upper arm or shoulders more than capacity. Stop playing immediately if it hurts. You need to be more careful especially if you play contact sports such as football. You should wait for proper healing to meet this moment. It is also essential to stay away from the previous level of game-play until or unless you feel completely comfortable. Consider these points before restoring the previous game level.
- Moving the injured (now treated) shoulder freely and easily just like the uninjured one.
- The injured (now treated) shoulder feels stronger just like the uninjured one.
What happens if you continue with an injured shoulder? Starting with an injured shoulder before proper healing and rehabilitation process will increase the risk of permanent damage. Returning to the sports is not worth the risk of getting permanent disability which will be lifelong.
How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?
It is really debilitating and painful to have a shoulder dislocated to separated. It is essential to do special things to avoid these injuries.
- Stop immediately if you feel pain during sports.
- Stretch shoulder muscles daily.
- Use cold therapy or icing if you have had these injuries before.
- Try to use a special pad for protection of shoulders if you feel the risk of dislocating the shoulders.
Read More: Ice Packs for Faster Recovery