What To Do When You Dislocate Your Shoulder

by Brittany Durdin on June 4, 2010 · 1 comment

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If you have dislocated your shoulder, you know it’s a very painful experience. Symptoms include severe pain immediately after dislocation, and you also are unable to move your shoulder. A dislocated shoulder can be a result of “a sudden and traumatic impact to an outstretched arm…[and] individuals who have had a previous dislocation are more susceptible to future dislocations, which can occur at any time and even during sleep,” says Peter M. Newton, M.D.

When dislocation occurs, the humerus is pulled out of the shoulder blade socket. Treating a dislocated shoulder involves placing the humerus back into the socket as soon as possible, and according to Newton, first time dislocations usually require a visit to the emergency room. However, if you dislocate your shoulder frequently, then you may be able to put it back in yourself. Newton says that after the pain decreases, you should begin motion exercises as soon as possible “to avoid muscle atrophy and joint stiffness.”

If you dislocate your shoulder a lot, surgery may be needed; find an orthopedic surgeon near you if you are suffering from continued instability in your shoulder.

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