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What NOT to do in shoulder dislocation

Have you ever dislocated your shoulder?You are probably
reading this blog because either you or someone you care
about might have had it.

From reaching for something or eating food, the shoulder joint provides mobility for every movement of daily life. And what if it comes out of its place. Does not sound very pleasing, Right?

So, in today’s blog , there would be some information about what a shoulder dislocation is, what causes it and what not to do when you get one. 

Let’s get started with
What a shoulder dislocation is ?

As the name implies, it is when the humerus bone of the shoulder moves out of its socket. Now, it can dislocate in three directions, forward, making it an anterior dislocation, backwards called as a posterior dislocation and lastly, downwards, making it an inferior dislocation. 

Most probably after a dislocation , one would be rushed to the emergency room where the bone would be placed back in its socket. Generally, after that a sling is provided to the patient for a few days to weeks depending on the severity of injury. 

Now, let’s get into How it happens?

For anterior dislocation, which is the most common type of dislocation, the arm position would be moved away from the middle of the body and rolled out as shown in figure 1.  Meaning, when the arm is  placed in position demonstrated in figure 1, and person either has a blow or falls over that shoulder , the chances to dislocate anteriorly are more. 

Figure 1
Figure 2

For posterior dislocation, having a fall or injury while the arm is stretched forward, moved to the opposite shoulder and at the same time rotated inwards ( figure 2) would increase the chances to get a posterior dislocation.

While, to get an inferior dislocation it would be a fall or injury with the arm elevated and open outside as demonstrated in figure 3. 

Figure 3
Figure 4

Lastly, What to Avoid in case of shoulder dislocation ?

Now that we have learned about the injury positions, now let’s get to understanding about what not to do.

First, talking about Anterior dislocation,

  • Avoid extension , meaning taking the arm back as reaching for something in the back. Refer to figure 4
  • Avoid rolling the arm out as demonstrated in figure 5.
  • And the last thing to do would be a combination of theses movements , which was the injury position, refer to figure 1
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7

Secondly, for posterior dislocation,

  • Avoid forward movements of the arm for about 6 weeks. ( Figure 6)
  • Avoid taking an arm to reach the opposite shoulder or rolling the arm inwards.

Third, Inferior dislocation-

  • Avoid anything that will pull the arm down such as holding weight in the affected arm. ( Figure 7)

In conclusion, recommendation would be to consult a Physical Therapist to guide you through a phase wise process of rehabilitation and get you back to your pre-injury level of activity. And here at Rhema-Gold Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation & Wellness Center that is our goal to rehabilitate you for your daily activities and sports related activities.

Let us have your back so you can get back on track and have some fun without worrying about injuries!!

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