Dislocated Shoulder 101
A dislocated shoulder is one of the most painful injuries that can befall a person. Thankfully, shoulder dislocations are rarely serious enough to require surgery. A good chiropractor with a solid understanding of physical therapy can apply a healing massage, and other sports medicine remedies.
A dislocated shoulder occurs when your shoulder joint is literally “dislocated” in the bone of your arm. Dislocations are not “separations,” an injury that finds the shoulder joint removed from the bone. Dislocations often occur during violent actions, but they can occur without warning. Dislocations are more likely to occur if you have weak muscles in your arms, as they help keep your joint in place.
What are the symptoms?
A shoulder dislocation will be immediately painful: there’s no mistaking something’s wrong. You’ll immediately feel excessive pain in your shoulder, and will find it nearly impossible to move. Swelling usually occurs, as will numbness, physical weakness, and bruising. Serious dislocations often include muscle spasms. You may also feel nausea, vomiting, and lightheaded.
What is the short-term treatment for a dislocated shoulder?
Severe shoulder separations, such as separation at an upward direction, or dislocations in the back, require serious emergency room treatments. Open shoulder surgery is often necessary, surgery wherein the doctor will cut open the shoulder, to surgically repair the torn shoulder ligaments.
What is the long term treatment?
Once your shoulder has healed a little more, a chiropractor can administer physical therapy. Chiropractic care helps get your shoulder back into shape. There are a series of massage types, and manipulations used by an expert chiropractor. The first type used is the scapular manipulation, and no, this doesn’t involve your head! Instead, you lie or stand while the doctor attempts to locate the locate the head of the shoulder joint, and move it back into place.
External rotation finds your doctor flexing the elbow 90 degrees, and gradually rotating your shoulder outward to help eliminate muscle spasms, and relocate your shoulder. Traction-counter traction techniques involve lying flat, with a sheet around your armpit. The doctor then pulls on the sheet, to “pop” your joint into place.
There are a few home sports medicine remedies for dislocated shoulders, during and after your treatment. Rest you shoulder, and regularly apply ice and heat alternatively, in 15-20 minute intervals.
Some over-the-counter pain medications, like aspirin and ibuprofen can also be used to eliminate some pain. After your chiropractic care treatment, carefully rotate your shoulder to help strengthen it, and to make sure to maintain your shoulder’s range of motion.