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Dislocated Shoulder

Moderator: King Boonen

Dislocated Shoulder

30 Aug 2013 10:40

Hi,

Managed to dislocate my shoulder in a big crash on my mountain bike. Went straight out and back in, it's now very painful in certain positions and I'm really struggling to lift my arm.

I've been told physio can really help but referrals can take a long time on the NHS and private is expensive. Are they any general exercises any on here knows and could help me with?

Thanks!
User avatar King Boonen
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30 Aug 2013 15:43

I'd try 'arm lifts' without using any weights.
Palms IN at side of body with shoulders kept down, lift arms out to the sides until arms are slightly below shoulder level.
Do similar with palms BACK, and lift arms forward and up.

Go easily and stop if there is any sharp pain

I'm NOT a healthcare professional.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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30 Aug 2013 22:39

Sounds like you've entered the lifetime club for shoulder ailments. Usually a certain level of discomfort is the most likely outcome if you have: a)hyper extended or torn any of the muscles that stabilize the area-see rotator cuff b)broken any of the bones either in your humeral head (arm) or the "socket" your shoulder used to be comfortable in.
I'm not a medical professional but have sent several children to college paying for injuries of this type.
I'd lay low and concentrate on mobilization for several weeks to allow inflammation to go away. Forcing a strength exercise will only make it worse. After that, if you have pain you should get an opinion from a shoulder specialist. PT's, chiropractors and other therapists will be guessing on structural damage. The good news is instability in this area can be repaired arthroscopically with minimal trauma if there's no bone damage.
Oldman
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31 Aug 2013 00:54

King Boonen wrote:Hi,

Managed to dislocate my shoulder in a big crash on my mountain bike. Went straight out and back in, it's now very painful in certain positions and I'm really struggling to lift my arm.

I've been told physio can really help but referrals can take a long time on the NHS and private is expensive. Are they any general exercises any on here knows and could help me with?

Thanks!


JayKosta wrote: . . .
Go easily and stop if there is any sharp pain . . .


Oldman wrote:Sounds like you've entered the lifetime club for shoulder ailments. . . . Forcing a strength exercise will only make it worse. After that, if you have pain you should get an opinion . . . The good news is instability in this area can be repaired arthroscopically with minimal trauma if there's no bone damage.


Oooooo, yeah. Once damaged, permanently weakened. Now, this is relative. You CAN rebuild strength in the surrounding muscles and soft tissues sufficiently that it CAN be stronger than before the accident. But it will be weaker than it would have been if you had done all that exercise and not had the accident. Soft connective tissue doesn't like damage, but can be strengthened, just like muscle tissue. Anything good for your muscles also is good for the connective tissues - some resistance work, some no-load cardio, some stretching.

Early on in the process - like Jay and Oldman say, be careful about pushing. You can push too hard - but you can also have a lot of pain while pushing the correct amount.

Will you be strictly self-coached? Then go for pain as the limiter. Try to get some guidelines about going it alone from your PT ppl while you have them. You already know something about the difference in types of pain - you can be working out and have "good" pain - you know that. But if the joint is painful the next day - it wasn't "good" pain. Very early on - in the 1st month or so, be VERY careful. Let it heal - but usually light load work is called for to hasten the healing. Early on - in the 1st 3 months - be cautious, but push.

Later, past 6 months out, do regular strength work for the muscles around the joint. Weights - starting with light weights and more than a few reps. Or other resistance. In future years, you may need to remind yourself to do enough joint specific work to keep it strong. Don't forget stretching work.

I'm also not a health pro, but I've been there and done that, more than once, and been around for other folks in the same wagon. I've got a leg that was once in two sections, and is still 1.5" shorter. I've dislocated a shoulder. I have a brother who's replaced two knees, and a spouse who's replaced one.

Anyway - I didn't sweat the shoulder until more than a year later - but eventually got on a program (self-guided) because I got tired of the weakness and pain. The leg - got PT for - and eventually went on to race bicycles - years after the accident that caused that issue.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
User avatar hiero2
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31 Aug 2013 08:59

Cycling is an art of balancing yourself on two wheels. Not that it is hard but also everyone cannot do it. Few people are blessed to get the pleasure of cycling. Please do not harm yourself as it can stop you to achieve your passion. Take care.
sprintbikes
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02 Sep 2013 00:09

IMHO, you need to know exactly what damage has/hasn't been done to your shoulder before trying any kind of homegrown therapy. Exactly. Not sort-of a good idea, but precise. Most importantly, get a second opinion on the same MRI/film.

Shoulders are complex and successful return from injury is far from perfect as another post suggests.

I'm not saying don't do something on your own. I'm saying have an excellent idea what damage has been done and develop something on your own around that information.

This advice is coming from a guy who visited doctors who were **convinced** surgery was the only course of action. "Just schedule the surgery now because my schedule is full and you want to relieve the pain ASAP..." Only to find out no surgery was required using very modern therapy techniques. That's just my story and probably not your injury though.

The point of the anecdote is I had lots of information about the injury and figured out my plan from there.
User avatar DirtyWorks
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02 Sep 2013 04:34

generally agreeing with what others have said based on my long history of issues

A Quick out and back in can do as much damage as a pro longed dislocation.
If you do not get professional treatment you are opening yourself up to a lifetime of issues

there is stuff you can do to greatly reduce your chances of re dislocating

I have dislocated both shoulders. the first was a trauma dislocation and required a hospital visit to put back in. luckily the club i played for paid for me to see a physio. I did loads of exercises and had no more issues

the second time i did it in a gym. a quick in and out and some discomfort. did not look after it, did not get treatment. in the next couple of years i had repeated dislocations. the shoulder became so loose it i dislocated it putting on a wetsuit, in a night club and even when doing sky diving (that star shape you do is not good for a weak shoulder)

in the end i had to have surgery to fix it because i let it become so loose there was little physio could do any more.

I can tell you the exercises i did (generic rotor cuff exercises with progressively more resistant bands. you can find them on the web) but i seriously suggest you go for at least one session to a professional, and ASAP. make it clear to the physio you can only afford one session so they give you as much info as possible. the quicker you start treatment the greater the chance you will not have future issues
Blinkered, stupid, naive whatever i am a cycling fan who loves to talk cycle racing and just cycle racing.
User avatar daveinzambia
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Location: Sydney, Australia

05 Sep 2013 12:05

Thanks for the advice guys.

I went to A and E and they did some x-rays to see if anything was broken, MRI is off the table when it comes to the NHS. I'm going to see my doctor to get a note for physio I can them take to go privately.

The doctor I saw in A and E thought it looked in pretty good shape so fingers crossed...
User avatar King Boonen
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