Everything You Need to Know About Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

Everything You Need to Know About Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

The shoulder joint, unlike the other joints in your body, is very mobile. Normally, your shoulder blades would allow your arms to move and rotate freely. But what if that isn’t how you’ve been feeling lately?

Signs You Have a Dislocated Shoulder

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you think you have a dislocated shoulder.

  • Did I recently hurt myself while playing a physical sport?
  • Did I recently fall hard somewhere?
  • Do I feel like my shoulder looks different than it normally does?
  • Am I having a hard time moving it?
  • Is it bruising or swelling?

No need to panic, but you most probably have a dislocated shoulder. This isn’t an extraordinary event — in fact, because of the mobility of the shoulder, the joint is more prone to dislocations.

Medically speaking, a dislocated shoulder is an injury wherein your upper arm bone comes out of the socket in your shoulder blade. While it’s nothing to be alarmed about, proper medical attention is advised immediately to treat your dislocated shoulder as you may be prone to even more injuries.

Ways to Look Out for A Dislocated Shoulder

While having a dislocated shoulder is not something to panic about, you still have to take a few precautions so that your injury won’t get worse.

As we have said earlier, a professional medical practitioner is your best bet for the ensured healing of your shoulder dislocation. But before the practitioner arrives, there are things you have to remember to avoid further injuries.

  • Avoid moving too much. If possible, have your arm on a sling so to avoid further movement. As your shoulder has been dislocated, the movement may further damage the surroundings of the shoulder joint.
  • Apply ice on the joint. By applying ice, you will help soothe the pain you’re feeling around the area.

Most probably, after a medical practitioner has treated you, your arm will be put in a more stable sling. It will be good for you to know what to do even before the medical practitioner tells you so that you will be familiar with how to care for yourself. At Action Rehab Hand Therapy,  shoulder physiotherapists have been helping people with conditions of the upper limb for almost 20 years and host workshops to assist with the clinical reasoning of conditions of the shoulder.

With this, we have listed a few ways to take care of your shoulder dislocation.

  • Use your sling correctly. Your medical practitioner will give you instructions about how to use your sling. Listen to him or her. Whenever you take your arm out of your sling, do not use your arm.
  • Do not remove your sling. Do not remove your sling at all cost, unless your doctor says it is okay to do so. This will help you heal faster.
  • Refrain from moving your arm. Aside from what your physical therapist says, refrain from moving your arm, especially when it is out of your sling.
  • Do not stress your arm. Likewise, you should not be putting a strain on your arm as this will affect its healing. Avoid using it to hold objects. As much as possible, do not let anything touch it while it is not yet fully healed.
  • Apply ice as needed. You may continue applying ice on your shoulder joint to ease the pain, so as long as you keep the incision dry. Whenever your pain medication is not on a schedule, this is a good substitute for relief.
  • Practice slow and deep breathing. Shoulder dislocation may lead you to suffer from a bearable amount of pain whenever you breathe. Practice slow breathing that comes from the diaphragm to avoid putting too much stress on your shoulders.
  • Follow up an appointment. It isn’t always easy or convenient to see your doctor, but it is necessary to meet him or her from time to time to ensure proper healing of your shoulder. Usually, your doctor will tell you to visit him or her one or two weeks after you have been discharged so he or she could see the progress of your healing.

Taking Care of Your Incision

Aside from your arm, you must remember to take good care of your incision. The incision is the surgical cut made when your shoulder was treated. Here are some ways to take care of it.

  • Keep your incision dry. Except for when you are in the shower, make sure that the bandage covering your incision is as dry as it can be. When it accidentally gets wet, change the dressing that covers it up.
  • Maintain clean hands. Remember to wash your hands whenever you change the dressing. You are allowed to touch only the edges of the dressing to avoid infection.
  • Avoid touching the incision. When your incision is itchy, do not scratch or rub it. When it gets painful, refrain from touching it. Instead, visit your doctor when you cannot take the uncomfortable feeling your incision is giving you.
  • Observe your incision. Update your doctor regularly about what is happening to your incision. Remember that some blood drainage is normal so as long as it drains less as days go by. But if you see any signs of redness, swelling, warmness, heavy drainage, or pain, it will be wise to call your doctor immediately.


Shoulder dislocation may be very painful and uncomfortable, but it is easily treatable so do not hesitate to call your doctor immediately. However, having already had a shoulder dislocation makes you more vulnerable to further injuries in and around your shoulder.

Be more careful the next time you are in a place that makes you prone to falling. Also remember to protect yourself through wearing protective gear, whether it’s for sports or for riding a motorcycle. Regular exercise also promotes flexibility of your muscles, so make working out a part of your routine and you will never be sorry for it.

Make sure to help yourself to avoid getting another shoulder dislocation. There are several ways to prevent this, and it would also be good for you to share this information with your family and friends. Remember that while we oftentimes neglect our personal safety because of busyness or fun, a healthy mind and a healthy body are essential for our productivity.


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