Having an injured shoulder means that even the most simple tasks become difficult. Personal hygiene, getting dressed, and eating meals becomes a hassle, and that’s not counting the daily responsibilities of work duties and household chores.
You’re probably already sleeping on an incline and keeping your arm in a sling to promote faster healing. You are also probably itching to get back to your normal life. Is there anything you can do to ease your shoulder pain and discomfort?
How to Know If You Have a Dislocated Shoulder
When you dislocate a shoulder, the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of its socket, and the shape of the shoulder visibly changes. This will cause sharp, intense pain, swelling, and an inability to move the arm. When this injury occurs, a doctor may provide the patient with a sedative before resetting the bone.
Although extremely rare, in some instances, the doctor may need to resort to surgery to place the humerus back into the socket. This is more likely if cartilage or ligaments need to be repaired.
The 10 Best Rehab Exercises for Dislocated Shoulders
Before starting any exercise program, check with your doctor. This is because they will be more familiar with your specific injury and medical history.
Once you’re cleared by the doctor, the following exercises will help you on your road to recovery.
Range of Motion (ROM) Exercises
1. Find a partition, an entryway, or the end of a wall. Place the arm at a 90-degree angle and gently push it away from your body and against the edge of the wall or partition. Do this several times, holding for eight to ten seconds each time.
2. Bend your arm at a 90-degree angle, then slowly move it back and forth as if you were power walking.
3. Find a table or chair, bend forward, and place your un-injured arm on the furniture surface for balance. Slowly move the recovering arm back and forth, like a pendulum, for several repetitions.
4. Place a pillow between your elbow and torso. Squeeze the pillow with your elbow and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise five or six times.
Rehab Stretching Exercises for a Dislocated Shoulder
5. Bring the arm of the injured shoulder across your chest and cup the elbow with the other hand. Press the injured arm closer to your body.
6. Wall push-ups. Make sure that your hands are placed slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Do the push-ups slowly and repeat 10 to 12 times.
7. Lift both arms to the front of your body, then extend the arms above your head.
8. Shoulder rolls. Gently roll the shoulders forward for five to ten reps. Then roll them backward for the same number of repetitions.
Strength Training Exercises
To prevent re-injuring the shoulder, ease some of the stress on the joint with strength-training exercises.
9. Lateral raises using resistance bands. Repeat 10 times.
10. Shoulder presses. Lift your arms at 90-degree angles from your shoulders using light free weights and slowly lift the weights above your head.
If you feel pain while doing any of these exercises, it may be too soon for physical therapy. Notify your doctor.
Physical Therapy for Shoulder Dislocation
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If shoulder pain is affecting your activities of daily living, let us help you. We’ll tailor a treatment and rehabilitation plan that’s best for your lifestyle and get you back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.