The shoulder includes the clavicle (collar bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper-arm bone). The rounded top of the humerus and the cup-like end of the scapula fit together like a ball and socket, forming the shoulder. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball and socket that make up the joint come apart.  Shoulder dislocation may lead to improper functioning of the shoulder and arm. Physical therapy after a shoulder dislocation can help decrease pain and regain normal strength and mobility around your shoulder. Doctors will refer their patients to physical therapy after shoulder dislocation to help regain normal use of the arm.

How can Physical Therapy Help You?

After the dislocated humerus has been moved back into position, your arm will be placed in a sling to protect you from further injury and to make your shoulder more comfortable. Your physical therapist will guide the rehabilitation of your shoulder and based on the examination of your injury, will select therapy treatment such as:

  1. Range- of-motion exercises: Swelling and pain can reduce your shoulder movement. Your physical therapist will teach you how to perform safe and effective exercises to restore full range of motion to your shoulder. In addition, the therapist might use a specialized technique called manual therapy to help decrease pain in the shoulder.
  1. Strengthening exercises: One of the most important components of a physical therapy program after a shoulder dislocation is to restore normal strength in the shoulder muscles. Based on how severe your injury is and where you are on the path to recovery, your physical therapist will determine which strengthening exercise is right for your shoulder. This can help provide stability to the shoulder so that normal function can be regained.
  1. Joint awareness and muscle re-training.: Specialized exercises help your shoulder muscles re-learn how to respond to sudden forces. Your physical therapist will design these exercises to help you return to your normal activities.
  1. Posture: Poor posture like a rounded shoulder’s posture, may prevent the shoulders from functioning properly. A physical therapist will help you attain and maintain proper posture.
  1. Pain relief therapy: Shoulder dislocation can be painful. Your physical therapist can help you control the pain with heating or icing.
  1. Activity- or sport-specific training: If you are an athlete, or your job has specific requirements, then your physical therapist can tailor special activities for you. For example, if you are an overhand thrower your physical therapist will guide you through throwing progression and pay specific attention to your throwing mechanics.

How Long Will Physical Therapy Take?

Typically physical therapy takes 12 weeks, however, every injury is different and everyone heals at a different rate. If the injury to your shoulder is severe, your healing may take longer, or you may require other procedures or surgeries.

Physical Therapy, New York

If you are recovering from a shoulder dislocation, our skilled team can develop a recovery plan for you. At Integrated Medical Care (IMC), our physical therapist will analyze and revise personalized programs in order to better assist our patients. Call us at 845-535-9884 for a consultation today.

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