The Best Advice Following a Shoulder Dislocation

For shoulder issues, Crossover Symmetry can take care of just about everything, but if you’ve had a big “oh, crap” moment, you’ll likely need some medical care.

Things like hard falls, car accidents, bike wrecks, and hard hits on the playing field can put some significant force on the body and sometimes create shoulder dislocations.  This is when the shoulder comes out of the socket, so the bones are no longer touching.

Although, there are some cases where people have loose connective tissue that makes shoulder dislocations more likely.  For example, it may happen while reaching for something or sleeping, or some can dislocate their shoulder as an on-command party trick.  

Action Plan

But hypermobility is a topic for another day.  For now, let’s focus on the traumatic first-time dislocation, where the shoulder is forced out of position.  

When the shoulder dislocates, it damages the stabilizers designed to hold the shoulder in place.  The cartilage ring (shoulder labrum) is usually damaged, along with the shoulder ligaments.  This makes future dislocations more likely.  

Again, go to the emergency room for a first-time dislocation.  With medical care, you will minimize further damage and get an evaluation for injuries to the bones, nerves, and blood vessels.  Also, muscle relaxers and pain meds may be necessary to reduce the shoulder effectively.

In a Pickle

If you’re far from medical care, there are self-treatment options to reduce the shoulder in the field. 

Although, it’s not jerked back into position like in the movies.  Instead, you provide sustained traction (i.e., pull on the joint for 10+ minutes) and hope the shoulder relocates as the muscles relax.  

Here are some shoulder reduction options (reduction means replacement or realignment of the body part to its normal position) if you would like to learn some MacGyver stuff today.

Dislocation Recovery

Once you’ve got the shoulder back in the right position, there is some rehab work to be done.

If the labrum and the bone are minimally affected, full range of motion is usually restored within 6-12 weeks.  However, continued strengthening is essential since the shoulder stabilizers have sustained long-term damage.

Early Rehab: Begin strengthening in a low range of motion (elbows below shoulder height.)  Crossover Symmetry may be used for low rows, pull-downs, and tiger walks.

​Mid-Phase Rehab:  Progress of strength with the arm further away from the body.  In the Crossover Symmetry program, that includes adding 90/90 progress, reverse flys, scaption, and Overhead Ys.

Late-Phase Rehab: Once range of motion is restored, plyometrics (Activation+) and the Crossover Symmetry Strength Program can train the shoulder muscles to compensate for the decreased stability.

Hopefully, this is just interesting stuff you’ll never need to know.

Featured Products

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published