Shoulder dislocations are common in sports such as volleyball and football. When arm is lifted above head like the position for serving a volleyball is when the shoulder joint is most susceptible to dislocating; this is common in throwing, hitting, swinging — all incredibly common movement when it comes to sports.
Once you dislocate once you are more prone to future dislocations due to your shoulder stabilizers being stretched out. In fact, prior injury is a strong predictor for future injury, if not properly attended to for prevention.
What to look out for:
- Sometimes a shoulder will sublux (dislocate) — it will pop out (completely or partially) and then go back in on its own. Usually the pain will go away within a day or two with rest unless there was serious damage
- In other events, the shoulder will not reset on its own and you will have to go in to see a health professional to get it reset — typically in an urgent care or emergency environment. Unfortunately, this can be extremely painful and lead to tearing.
- After dislocating people may lose range of motion and strength and feel as if their shoulder is unstable
- If you have dislocated once or multiple times with or without pain it is advisable to get physical therapy to help strengthen shoulder stabilizers.
What can be done:
If you have found yourself in similar experiences, you can try performing gentle theraband exercises such as external rotation, internal rotation, and extension of the shoulder.
- If you have pain with these exercises or lack good range of motion due to pain you may require other exercises to help with range of motion
- If these exercises helped decrease your pain or helped your shoulder feel more stable you may benefit from PT to help progress and give you more advanced shoulder stabilization exercises!