Ask Beth: How Should I Heal a Dislocated Right Shoulder?

Ask Beth: How Should I Heal a Dislocated Right Shoulder?

QUESTION: How should I heal my dislocated right shoulder?

Dear Beth,

About two weeks ago, I dislocated my right shoulder in a mountain bike accident. Are there any excersises or any thing I can do to help speed up the recovery? Not being able to surf is driving me crazy!

I never ended up going to a doctor (which I should have done in retrospect). But my shoulder is getting better day by day and I have started surfing again (although with a good amount of pain when paddling). I do have full motion, with pain, if I extend my arm over my head, but nothing terrible.

Thanks,
Travis

ANSWER:

Hey Travis,

Well, sounds like things are healing up nicely. However, before you get too nuts with surfing (seeing that fall is coming up quickly but not quick enough!), I would keep an eye on the pain you get with arms up over head.

Watch to make sure that surfing does not increase that pain and make sure that you notice it getting progressively better, like the rest of the injury. Try to maintain stretching to make sure there is no “lock up” of that joint. Ice and anti-inflammatory could be a call post-surfing if you find there is increased pain and swelling.

As for exercises, I would definitely figure out a rotator cuff/shoulder routine to protect this from happening again. Avoid going into the range of motion which is causing pain until the pain has subsided. I would really be careful surfing too much, too soon since you still have some pain in an area that mimics the paddle stroke.

So, in a nut shell keep up some good stretches, be patient and let the pain subside, and get on a strengthening program. If you need help with the strengthening program, a one-time visit to a great physical therapist would be a smart move (not to mention they could give you an idea on where your injury stands!). If you live in San Francisco, Potrero Physical Therapy is the one for you.

Good luck and let me know if you need more info.

Hasta,
Beth

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