Our shoulder is the major joint in our body that allows for a whole lot of movement. This is quite the double-edged sword because it also means that the shoulder joint can get injured in more ways than one.
Our shoulder really is a combination of two bones connected together. The head of the humerus or the upper arm bone is closely fitted with a shallow socket, called the glenoid fossa. Because the glenoid fossa is so shallow, and shoulder movements are so numerous and widely varied, this often causes the head of the humerus to fall out of the socket.
Causes and symptoms
A lot of different movement can cause the humerus head to fall out of the socket. It could be caused by rigorous sports that put a heavy weight on the shoulders. Getting in a fight could also be a cause, the backwards twisting of the arm can easily pull the shoulder.
It is very easy to determine if you are suffering from a dislocated shoulder because the intense pain will be present enough to remind you. The muscles around your shoulder can spasm from the sudden improper movement and this will increase the already intense pain. Aside from a lot of pain, you will also notice swelling and maybe some bruising around your shoulder area. You will also be unable to move your shoulder. In some areas, the dislocation causes numbness instead of pain. You will notice this in your neck and arm muscles. The arm will also feel ‘off’ or out of place and your shoulder will look slightly deformed.
Treatment and rehabilitation
Shoulder dislocation has a very simple treatment, which is to pop the ball back to its right place. However simple, though, it is best to seek the help of medical professionals to avoid further damage. This shoulder dislocation treatment is called ‘closed reduction’. The beauty of this simple treatment lies in its immediate effect. The severe pain stops immediately once the shoulder joint is back in the socket.
Most doctors would advise that you wear a sling for several weeks following closed reduction. Along with plenty of rest and application of ice to the injured shoulder, it should be back to normal in two to three weeks. Once the pain, swelling, and the bruises disappear, it is recommended that you seek physical rehabilitation. This usually starts with muscle toning exercises and weight training. Recovery time from this injury varies on a case to case basis. Some dislocations may have affected the muscles around the shoulder and would need greater effort to improve.
It is also advisable that you take pain medications, especially that this injury causes so much pain. Be sure to consult a medical professional for the right type of medicine. Other more severe cases may need surgery, especially if the ligaments are already damaged and the shoulder dislocation is recurring. In rare cases, nerves and blood vessels are also damaged and may need surgery.