Subluxation is a partial dislocation of the shoulder joint. The difference between a partial and full dislocation is that, in the case of a subluxation the shoulder slips out of place by a smaller degree and normally pops back into place on its own. Even though the joint has returned to its proper place, the ligaments may be strained. This can lead to pain and a weakening of the joint, making another subluxation or a complete dislocation possible in the future.
In more severe cases of subluxation, the shoulder will be visibly deformed. Compared to a complete dislocation, however, the symptoms are usually mild. Some patients may not even be aware their shoulder subluxed until experiencing the symptoms associated with strained ligaments (persisting pain and joint weakness). Often caused by trauma, shoulder subluxation is also a common occurrence in highly active individuals, especially swimmers and baseball pitchers. Subluxation or complete dislocation may also occur during a stroke.
The shoulder joint is extremely mobile, allowing us to move our arms forward, backwards, sideways, and in a full rotation. While this mobility is beneficial in many ways, it also means that our shoulders are more prone to injury as they lack the stability of more fixed joints. If you are experiencing ongoing shoulder pain, your injury could be the result of shoulder subluxation. At the Utah Rock Run physical therapy office, you can find the treatment you need.
Our physical therapists are experienced with shoulder injuries and can develop a personalized recovery plan for your injury. If your shoulder is currently subluxed, your physical therapist will replace the joint into its proper location. To ensure the injury does not recur, strengthening exercises will need to be practiced. Your physical therapist will provide you with instructions and a recovery timeline. Depending on the severity of joint and ligament damage, you may be required to wear a brace to keep the shoulder immobile for a time period.
At Rock Run, our goal is your recovery. You can count on our talented physical therapists for quality care throughout your shoulder physical therapy. Contact our physical therapy office in Utah today to make an appointment.
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