Dislocated shoulder recovery can take from 12 to 16 weeks, and the vast majority of this time is spent doing self-treatment with guidance from a physician and/or physical therapist. Because you are largely on your own, it’s important to have all the resources you need for home treatment, especially if you want to get back to your regular lifestyle as quickly as possible.
3 Keys to Accelerating Dislocated Shoulder Recovery
1. Reorganize Your Home
When recovering from a dislocated shoulder, it’s important to avoid certain movements. For example, for about the first three weeks, you should keep your hand in view at all times so you don’t aggravate the torn or stretched tissues in the shoulder joint. This means that you cannot reach behind you, and overhead reaching movements are restricted. You will also have to avoid lifting heavy objects for at least six weeks. Ask another person to help you reorganize your home accordingly. For example, you might need to move dishes to a lower cabinet and put other commonly used objects within easy reach. Reorganizing your home immediately following the injury can potentially prevent a prolonged recovery because having everything you need easily accessible will eliminate the possibility of moving in a way that might ultimately slow down your recovery.
2. Do Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is an important component of successful dislocated shoulder recovery, especially if you want to regain full range of motion as quickly and safely as possible. The process typically takes about six to eight weeks, and it’s important to not push too hard, especially in the initial stages of healing. Your physical therapist can tell you what types of strengthening and stretching exercises you should be doing at home. If you find the monotony of holding a stretch difficult to overcome, consider using a physical therapy app to guide you through each move, or use a timer. Perform physical therapy exercises in short sessions multiple times per day to avoid fatigue and maximize their effectiveness.
3. Use Cold and Compression Therapy to Heal Faster
The combination of cold therapy and active compression is proven to provide faster healing than ice alone. Cold therapy helps reduce swelling and relieve pain and will allow you to reduce or even eliminate the need for pain medications. The addition of active compression contributes to reduced swelling and also has the benefit of accelerating healing by stimulating blood flow and cellular oxygen supply to the injured tissues which is needed for tissue repair. You can use a cold therapy system like the Game Ready System in your physical therapist’s facility, or for even better results, rent a device for home use so you can apply treatment multiple times a day. Many doctors also recommend applying cold therapy prior to physical therapy sessions to help control pain and discomfort.
Dislocated shoulder recovery is a process that takes time, but you can reduce it by being smart about home treatment. Organize your home so that you are not required to move in ways that can exacerbate the injury, stick with your physical therapy routine no matter how boring it is, and use the Game Ready System, the most sophisticated cold therapy technology available, to get the best results. If you’d like to learn more about the Game Ready cold and compression system, find a provider near you today.