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Dislocated Shoulder

Dislocated Shoulder

Injuries to the shoulder are unfortunately common in many sports, especially sports where a lot of contact occurs, such as wrestling or rugby. They can also occur in snowboarding, roller skating and other 'extreme' sports.

A serious injury can take several months to heal. One of the most common kinds of shoulder injury is the dislocated shoulder. The shoulder is perhaps the easiest joint in your body to dislocate, because it is a ball and socket joint, and the socket is very shallow. The joint is designed to move in many different directions, but it is not a very stable joint, and it is easy for it to accidentally pop out. If you are lucky, the joint can simply be re-seated, but in some cases the supporting tissues may be damaged as a result of the shoulder injury. You can wear a shoulder support to protect the joint and help it heal in this case. The shoulder support will protect the soft tissue and allow you to move your joints with minimal pain.

Detailed Overview


It is fairly easy to tell when a shoulder is dislocated, because it will look square, instead of round. In some cases you will see a bulge under the skin at the front of your shoulder. This bulge is the top of your arm bone. You will experience loss of mobility, and the arm will most likely be very painful.

If you think you have suffered a dislocated shoulder, you should seek professional medical advice immediately. It is possible to suffer serious nerve damage as a result of a dislocated shoulder, so you should go to A&E and explain what has happened.


A doctor will manipulate the bone back into place, and assess the extent of your injury to determine whether further physiotherapy is needed. If the dislocation occurred as a result of trauma, you may need to have an x-ray to make sure that you have not broken any bones.

In some cases, you will be given an ultrasound scan to find out whether you have damaged your rotator cuff. This injury is common in older people, but it can also occur in athletes if they put load on their joints in an unusual manner.

If you have suffered from serious tissue damage then your shoulder injury may be treated with a shoulder support. Note that the support is there to prevent further damage to your shoulder and you should still rest the joint and avoid load bearing physical activities until your doctor has given you the all clear. Some people are prone to shoulder dislocations, and can even dislocate their shoulder in multiple directions. If you are prone to such injuries you may want to work on strengthening the supporting muscles in addition to wearing a shoulder support.