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A dislocated shoulder is not the type of injury you treat on your own. Rather than getting some rest and hoping for the best, you should consult with an experienced medical professional as soon as you suffer this injury.

There are several types of dislocated shoulder treatment strategies, all of which your medical team will consider. These include the following:

  • Closed reduction: Without surgery, your doctor may be able to gently maneuver your shoulder back into place. This may be painful, but once the bones are back where they should be, you’ll soon feel better.
  • Surgery: Depending on the extent of the damage, you may require surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder.
  • Immobilization: The use of a sling or splint can keep your shoulder from moving, thus giving it time to heal. Depending on the severity, you may need to wear a sling or splint for anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
  • Medication: Most people who suffer a dislocated shoulder experience quite a bit of pain and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to treat the pain and relax your muscles.

If your doctor finds that you’re only suffering from a dislocated shoulder, you may be able to rest the injury and resume normal activity after a few weeks.

However, if you also damaged tissue and/or nerves, you may require surgery.

If you dislocated your shoulder at work, report the incident to your employer. Be sure to explain how it happened, while also keeping them informed as to your recovery schedule. If you’re unable to return to work right away, consider filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.