Dislocated shoulder

Managed to dislocate my shoulder not so long ago, now having physo. The problem is it just refuses to get better. Would appreciate any tips on some form of exercise to help out. Got remember that it’s been a long time since I did hard physical training of the military type.
Did mine about three years ago now and damaged the rotator cuff during the dislocation. Was told then it would a) take several months to heal and b) to go easy on the excercise.

Just gettting back full mobility took several months and took 12 months before I felt comfortable tabbing with weight on.
Still gives me occasional Gyp even now. :(

As for excercises I was given a 'Theramed'? stretchy band thingy to do resistance work with , but I guess a Bungey Chord would work just as well.
ask them to refer you for ultrasound or MRI to rule out a rotator cuff tear, they are very common post dislocation and can take a long time to heal.
I did mine 3 times in quick succession 12 years ago. I didn`t have the op to sort it.

The ligaments will take years, if ever, to get sorted. Once the thing settles down and stops hurting you need to start building up the muscles around the shoulder. Don`t go mad, take months at it. Make shoulder exercises part of your life.

I only get pain now if I lie in bed with my arm round my partner, the joint sometimes almost slips out a bit.

If I am using a punchbag I have to connect with the bag or I can hurt my arm over-reaching.

And I had to give up contact sports, it wouldn`t last 5 minutes at something like judo even though I have plenty of muscle.

Good luck with it.
i did mine 3 years ago while playing footie and it kept locking out to the point of dislocation.

Had a bancock repiar which is now over 3 months ago and hurts more than beofre the nurse has told me to expect this pain for over 6 months plus

be careful going down the op route as mine hurts more now than it ever did before the op !!!!
Right then, I've just gone and re-done my shoulder. First time happened about 5 years ago, did again a year after that but it had been going fine until it came out playing rugby a few days ago.

I've spoken to a few physios and I've had different answers from them. One says surgery is the only option and the others say rehabilitation.

I'm seeing a Dr type specialist in a few days but I just wanted to ask a few questions on here first.

Is there any way to postpone the surgery until after the summer? 3 days later and I'm nearly pain free already so I'm hoping I can wait until after the 7's season is over before I go under the knife (if I need to at all).

I know the 'rubber band' exercises that I had to do before, is there anything else I can do? I'm looking for specific shoulder strengthening exercises once I'm back up to fitness.


Do a search for Eric Cressey and Mike Roberts, both have a lot of online resources that are invaluable when it comes to shoulder health. At it's base, it could be an issue with your hip flexibility, continuing up from there, then you need to look at lumbar and thoracic spine mobility, then scapular stability and finally strengthening work on the rotator cuffs.

Couple of things just to mention - in nearly 50% of cases of shoulder instability the opposite hip had a decreased range of movement, and unless it is a very hard impact that caused the dislocation, then the rotator cuff is more a symptom of a larger problem and not the problem itself, so to get full remission you need to target the core problem...

Hope this helps a bit, do google their work as it is top notch, and much higher than you can expect from a run of the mill physio over here.
Firstly I cannot make any diagnoses for anyone online and nor am I here to comment on anything like "why does it still hurt", however there are few innacuracies in what has been stated so far. In the light of general information, here is my method for dealing with shoulder instability:

If you are a young (18-25) bloke and you dislocate there is a 80-90% chance of long term instability. Fat old boys like me in their 40's have that reduced down to 25%. Thus age is a significant factor in how we treat you when you dislocate. Modern shoulder surgeons may offer you surgery to stabilise the shoulder after just one dislocation, especially for active duty personnel as the long term results are better. However, there is no hard and fast rule on this and it depends how bad your symptoms are. It is more common to have surgery after 2 or 3 dislocations or if it is interfering with work/ deployment.
Rotator cuff tears usually only occur in dislocations in the older (50+) age group and most servicemen who dislocate have a tear in the cartilage inside the joint. This can be fixed back down by keyhole surgery and is generally a highly succesful operation with an 8-10% overall failure rate.

If you do have an operation it will hurt more for the first 1-2 months, especially if you have a more traditional open operation. I usually restrict people with a sling for 4 weeks after surgery, 3 months until any resisted exercises can begin and it would be at least 6 months until you could resume any form of contact sport or military training.

I am not in a position to offer you the chances for my experty views of your own shoulders as I am sitting in a sandpit far from home....
Hope the info helps and I will look again later and see if there are any questions you may have that I can shed light on.
Am not a doc or expert in these matters unless having had my shoulder operated on some years ago counts as being an expert..

However my son has had the type of injury you are all talking about and the advice DocSavage gives is exactly the same as he is being given by the consultant at Exeter so I would recommend you follow his advice.

Get an expert to assess the damage, Do not just take advice from mates/ physios or some bloke you meet down the pub. My son's consultant said that despite x-raying the shoulder that he can not be certain about the extent and nature of the injury until he has had an MRI as the injury is almost certainly in the soft tissue.

Take care and get authoritative advice as to the way to proceed.
Hi guys,

Thanks for the in depth replies! I'm having a look at Roberts and Cressey at the moment.

Just to clarify, I am a young guy and everytime I've dislocated / moved my shoulder it's been due to a large impact whilst playing rugby.

Also, this injury happened whilst playing for my regiment and having spoken to the RMO yesterday he has told me that as a Reservist I will have to get treatment on the NHS.

Having had physio on the NHS before I know how long it can take to even get an appointment but that's not the issue really. As I was injured on duty, surely it's the Army's responsibility to get me back up to fitness again?

I have had a quick look at the suggestions above and I would advise a degree of caution in following advise from foreign websites. Cressey is a fitness trainer with a degree from a lesser US university in "exercise kineisiology". Basically he is a posh RI with a few more letters after his name and self publicist for his own sports clinic. He may have some advise on rehab methods but be very wary of this as it is the edges of pseudoscience and aimed at the privately insured with minimal injuries. If you have an unstable shoulder there are unfortunately onluy 2 solutions, alter lifestyle to shoulder or alter shoulder to lifestyle.
If you want a reliable website to look at I would recommend www.shoulderdoc.co.uk. It is run by a UK trained consultant surgeon who is both IT geeky (so it is a good website to use) and also knows what he is talking about. There are some excellent articles on there and there is no hard sell or "my method will cure you" stories.

As to whether reservists get treated if injured on duty, my understanding is that you do get Mil treatment. However at the moment on the Nash if you get referred to your local hospital they will see you within about 4 weeks and treatment must take place within 18 weeks - government target which is mandatory. As we do not have pure mil hospitals, we work on the same timelines for military referrals at the moment (but can fast track for operational needs)

Basic answer is if you are unstable and dislocate, you may not need a scan but you should see a shoulder specialist

Thank you for the further info, unfortunately the link is not working all you get is

Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)

any chance of fixing it as well as advising on shoulders.

Any pointers where I can find out about costs if we have to go private with my son's shoulder problem, he is not serving, yet, (he wants to when he can get his shoulder sorted).

Ah, didn't spot that,

my wife took my new glasses to work with her this morning so I am flying half blind today, and I see what you mean about the woman SHOUTING.


Okay, I was medically discharged from the army for exactly the same problem and had years of treatment for this. Listen to everyone mate - don't try to rush things as it will just keep happenning and it's not good when it suddenly slips out when changing gear in a car.

When it subsides and starts to heal try basic side raises using VERY small weights (A can of beans) this worked for me on the delts and then SLOWLY build up, if it a posterior dislocation you can do some basic bake bean bench raises while lying flat on the floor.

If that continues then you really need to see someone specialist. If you have any questions feel free to PM as I am now okay, able to bench press pretty decent weights, heaves, press ups etc and I've not had any problems for about 7 years due to concentrated exercising.
Current regs state that you cannot join up if you have had a dislocation in the previous 12 months or for 12 months after successful surgery so if he has his heart set on joining up he needs to look at his options sooner rather than later.
harry19 said:
The ligaments will take years, if ever, to get sorted. Once the thing settles down and stops hurting you need to start building up the muscles around the shoulder. Don`t go mad, take months at it. Make shoulder exercises part of your life.

I only get pain now if I lie in bed with my arm round my partner, the joint sometimes almost slips out a bit.

If I am using a punchbag I have to connect with the bag or I can hurt my arm over-reaching.

And I had to give up contact sports, it wouldn`t last 5 minutes at something like judo even though I have plenty of muscle.

Good luck with it.
Paderborn I can sympathise with you and am in a similar position to previous poster Harry.

In my 40's now and dislocated my left shoulder three times doing judo and jujutsu at age 17. Luckily no other associated damage at the time.

The first two times were at a jujutsu club and what were called "bone setting" skills were used immediately. Though not recommended these days, they worked. Stiill took months of easy careful training and manipulation. The third time was at a judo club - no bone setting but a visit to A&E.

Six weeks in a sling (talk about muscle atrophy!!) and THEN movement work (physio) - took almost two years to work through. The left shoulder has never been the same and the clavicle is slightly mis shapen due to the damage in that area too. (Mind you, in general, 35 years of being slammed up and down a mat is taking its toll these days I must admit).

It was my own fault - too much too soon. Nine years ago I suffered a trapped nerve for two months - the g/f's fault because she wanted to lay her head along my left chest/shoulder.....

Patience is the hardest thing - take it easy and slowly for as long as it takes. Lots of good advice given so far but be very, very patient and keep that shoulder moving and keep it WARM.

Good luck mate.
I didn't dislocate my shoulder, I snapped the ligaments around it, my shoulder bone dropped back and was catching on the deltoid my shoulder was also sticking up 2 inches out of place. It was operated on and I had 2 screws put in and fake ligaments on January 26th 2009, my shoulder is normal again, back to doing fitness training etc..
I was already in the process of joining the army, RLC - Commando Logistic Regiment, what are the regs will I have to wait a period of time or will my selection process carry on as normal, my doctor sent my medical report back around a week ago, I've not heard anything as of yet, so I'm sweating at the moment, I've been in the Royal Navy - Electronic Warfare P.O were a Royal Naval Commando, currently a SCC PTI P.O,

Regards P.O Walklate
Update on shoulder, now 99% movement, probably could not get the other 1% in the first place.
NHS physio was fantastic.
thanks for the replies.

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