Home science Health: Warning: Never treat yourself with a dislocated shoulder

Health: Warning: Never treat yourself with a dislocated shoulder


A dislocated shoulder is extremely painful, and swelling is sometimes an adventure. The doctor has several options for everything to get back where it belongs.

Sometimes, physical effort is required from the doctor: in one type, in order to bring a shoulder back inward, the doctor presses his heel into the patient’s armpit.

“You can’t just do it yourself, even if you dislocate your shoulder several times,” says Ingo Tusk, head of the department of orthopedics and prosthetics at the Red Cross Clinic in Frankfurt. Tusk says stacking the shoulder back is generally not an option. It’s important to put the joint back in place quickly – but with an expert.

A true classic among sports injuries

Tusk says infection is not rare. “It is mostly caused by trauma and injury that often occurs during exercise.” In some sports, a dislocated shoulder is a true classic: Handball players have to especially resist injury often. But a dislocated shoulder is also not rare when it comes to soccer, horseback riding, or kite surfing. “Whenever you can twist the arm, there is also a risk of a dislocation.”

Although the shoulder joint is very flexible, the risk of dislocation is particularly high here. “The socket is relatively small,” says Tusk. The joint is held in place with capsules and tapes, your doctor explains. This can tear if the arm is twisted and the ball joint will come out of the socket.

Anyone who dislocates their shoulder at once is at risk of this happening again. This is especially true for patients under the age of 20. You actually always dislocate your shoulder again later.

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Two options for treatment

There are two options after the ball is rolled: either have a shoulder surgery, which is recommended for younger patients, or you can opt for a more traditional treatment. Tusk explains that the arm is attached to a sling and the affected person has to wait for the ligaments and capsules to grow together on their own.

Tusk explains that you can prevent a painful injury by stabilizing the shoulder joint. There is no such thing as one exercise for everyone – you can find the right exercise for your shoulder with a physical therapist. (Dpa)


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