Being an athlete is not easy. Not only does it involve countless hours of training in pursuit of perfection, but it also comes with the risk of getting injured.
Injury, in particular, is one of the most difficult parts of an athlete’s life. Aside from the pain that results, it also means not being able to train and improve. As a result, there is great emphasis placed on injury prevention and treatment, with many doctors in sports-focused cities like Provo providing rehabilitation services.
One of the most common injuries among athletes is the dislocation of the shoulder. Here is everything you need to know about this injury:
What is it?
A shoulder dislocation results from a displacement of the humerus, or upper arm bone, from the cup-shaped socket that is attached to the shoulder blade. What makes a shoulder dislocation so common is that it is one of the most mobile joints in the body, being able to perform a wide variety of motions that other parts of the body cannot. Hence, even the simplest of movements can result in the bone popping out of the socket.
A shoulder may be partially or completely dislocated. A partial dislocation occurs if the arm bone is only partially out of the socket, while a complete dislocation means that the bone has been displaced all the way out of the socket.
What causes it?
There are a variety of things that can cause a dislocated shoulder. One of the most common is a sporting activity. It takes a good deal of force to displace the bone, which is why it can happen quite frequently in sports, particularly contact sports such as wrestling. Shoulder dislocations are also common among those who bear heavy weights using their arms, like weightlifters and javelin throwers.
Other possible causes of shoulder dislocations include forced trauma, such as being held down, or motor vehicle accidents. Shoulder dislocations may also arise from falls, especially those from a significant height.
How is it treated?
In the simplest cases, a shoulder dislocation can be treated on the spot by a doctor or a trained medical professional. This treatment process referred to as a closed reduction, wherein the medical professional will place the ball of the humerus that connects to the socket back into place, thus stopping the pain and enabling the person to continue as usual.
Following this, especially if the person has a history of shoulder dislocations, a doctor may recommend that the shoulder be immobilized in a sling for the following weeks. Icing the sore area is also advised.
If the injury has resulted in muscle tears or damage to nerves, blood vessels, or soft tissues, shoulder replacement surgery might have to be performed to repair any damaged tendons or ligaments. In the most serious of cases, the replacement of worn parts of the joint with a prosthesis could be called for, especially in case of extensive damage.
How can it be prevented?
The best way to prevent shoulder dislocation is to simply take greater care when exercising or performing daily activities. This way, you can avoid any falls that may result in a shoulder dislocation.
For athletes, protective gear when engaging in contact sports is a must. Furthermore, it is recommended that once the injury is healed, they exercise and strengthen these joints. This will make sure that the shoulders can handle the movements being performed, thus decreasing the likelihood of dislocation.