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dislocate your shoulder

What should you do if you dislocate your shoulder?

If you dislocate your shoulder, it’s important to handle the situation carefully to prevent further injury. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately: A dislocated shoulder should be evaluated and treated by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
  2. Do Not Attempt to Relocate the Shoulder Yourself: Attempting to pop the shoulder back into place on your own can cause damage to the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues.
  3. Immobilize the Arm: Use a sling or any available means to immobilize the affected arm. This helps reduce pain and prevents further injury.
  4. Apply Ice: Place an ice pack on the shoulder to reduce swelling and pain. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth to prevent ice burns and apply it for 15-20 minutes every hour if possible.
  5. Keep the Shoulder Still: Avoid moving the shoulder joint and try to keep it as still as possible until you receive medical care.
  6. Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain, but they should be used as directed and only if there are no contraindications for you.

Once you get to a healthcare facility, a doctor will likely:

  • Perform a physical examination and may order imaging tests like X-rays to confirm the dislocation and check for any fractures or other injuries.
  • Perform a reduction procedure to gently maneuver the shoulder back into place.
  • Provide a sling or immobilizer to keep the shoulder in place while it heals.
  • Recommend physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion after the initial healing period.

Always follow the advice of your healthcare provider for the best outcomes when you dislocate your shoulder.

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