Dislocated shoulders are common injuries following a direct trauma to the arm. Recovery period is lengthy and is usually in the region of 3 to 4 months before healing is complete. When someone uses the word “dislocated shoulder”, it simply means that the shoulder bone had popped out of the socket. Why are shoulders so prone to dislocation? This is simply because of the wide range of motion the shoulder provides. To cater to the mobility, the shoulder joint is designed like a ball and socket joint. The arm bone is the ball and is inserted into a socket. However, this is rather unstable and the arm can pop out easily. Most shoulder dislocation is at the lower front, as it is shallower. Let’s discuss about some of the symptoms and treatments for a shoulder dislocation.
The symptoms are fairly straightforward. The first thing is the onset of severe pain at the shoulder joint followed by the inability to use it at all. It will be nearly impossible to lift up your arm. The shoulder will also be soft as the bone is now displaced towards the front. The shoulder may also be slightly deformed and bits of the bone may be poking out of the skin.
Immediate medical response is required for a speedy recovery. The first step that doctors will do is to try and pop the shoulder bone back into the socket. This is due to the body’s response to injury and it will cause the area to be swollen and inflamed. Therefore, the faster the joint is reconnected, the better it is. The next objective is then to reduce the swelling. Ice is a cheap and effective method to bring down the swelling and soothe the affected muscles and tissues. It is advisable to ice the area every few hours for the next 3 days. In order to prevent excessive movement that may hinder the recovery, an immobility arm sling should be used. This will provide support to the shoulder and reduce the stress. If the pain is too unbearable, anti-inflammatory painkillers should be consumed. The medication will help to bring down swelling effectively and numb the pain.
A dislocated shoulder is not a laughing matter and medical treatment should be sought immediately. Due to the wide use of the shoulder, an injury there will cause excessive disturbance to our daily lives. In order to prevent this, defensive techniques and proper protective gears should be worn during certain activities that are extreme.