Dislocated Shoulder

Posted by Neo G on

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

The shoulder is a very mobile joint but due to this it means it is liable to become dislocated. In fact the shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint in the body. If the shoulder becomes dislocated there will be instant pain around the shoulder and you will be unable to move it. It normally occurs when someone falls onto their outstretched arm. It is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible to have the shoulder relocated. Once this is done the shoulder should be immobilised in a sling for approximately 2 weeks and then physiotherapy can start to get the shoulder moving again and start to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.


Common Causes

Common sports that cause these injuries:

  • Skiing
  • Rugby
  • Football

Common Signs & Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of a dislocated shoulder:

  • Immediate severe pain around the shoulder
  • Loss of shoulder movement
  • Wanting to keep the arm close to your stomach to protect it

Condition Management

What should be done following this injury:

  • Seek immediate medical help – go to A&E to have the shoulder relocated
  • Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce pain and swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off). Never apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Use a sling to protect and rest the shoulder for around 2 weeks


Once the pain and inflammation has settled down following the injury you should seek the advice of a chartered physiotherapist so that they can guide you through the rehabilitation for a dislocated shoulder. They will teach you strengthening exercises to undertake and help return full range of movement and strength to the shoulder.


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* Disclaimer *

The content on this website is provided for general information and reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. All exercises and information featured on this web site should only be reviewed/practised under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Products suggestions linked to injuries may be provided on the site but you must always refer to the product page for full product details and always consult a physician before use as the indications outlined may not always be relevant to your particular injury/condition.


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