Whether you lead an active lifestyle, work in a physically demanding job, or recently suffered a fall, sudden and significant shoulder discomfort could be the sign of a dislocated shoulder. A condition caused when the upper end of the bone that connects your arm to your shoulder is knocked out of the socket, it can be very painful. Here are some things you should know about shoulder dislocation and treatment if you're experiencing pain.
What Causes Dislocation?
A dislocated shoulder is often caused by some kind of blow to the upper arm and shoulder area or a severe strain on that same part of the body. If you play sports, any kind of collision during game play could be the culprit. In addition, an accident like falling down the stairs or being struck in the arm with a door could also be the source of the problem. In fact, the shoulder joint is pretty delicate, so it doesn't take a hard strike.
What Kind of Symptoms Are There?
For anyone who has never experienced a dislocated shoulder, the injury can be tough to determine for sure. In most cases, the shoulder and upper arm will swell significantly. The inflammation it causes may even result in the skin feeling warm to the touch. You'll probably feel persistent pain in the join that gets worse when you move the arm. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, you might even feel some numbness in the arm and fingers.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
A dislocated shoulder requires medical attention to set it back where it should be. Ice will help to moderate the swelling in the meantime. The doctor whom you see will adjust the position of the shoulder so that the joint sits correctly again. You might be sedated to help ease the process, as it can hurt significantly and if you move while the doctor is setting it, you could cause further injury.
Once the shoulder is properly positioned again, you'll be given a sling to immobilize the arm for a while. This will allow the shoulder to heal. You'll probably even be recommended to a physical therapist to help you rebuild the muscle strength and restore the original range of motion in the shoulder. Make sure you follow the routine that the therapist gives you, including any stretches or exercises that you should be doing at home. The physical therapy process is essential for preserving the integrity of the joint and the tissue around it, so don't skip appointments. If you don't attend or complete the therapy program, your shoulder may be at greater risk of further dislocations.