If you have dislocated your shoulder, you will be in a tremendous amount of pain. A doctor will need to reposition your shoulder bone back into the socket; this step is one that must be performed by a professional.
However, there are a few types of self-care that are appropriate before and after you see your doctor. Below are tips for keeping yourself as comfortable as possible in case of shoulder dislocation provided by experts at Providence Orthopaedics:
Until you can see your doctor, you should do your best to keep the shoulder stable in a sling or immobilizer. Your doctor may have other advice for you after he or she has repositioned the bone, but using a sling is advisable until you get to the doctor. It will help prevent further injury, and it can minimize your discomfort. If you do not have a sling handy, you may be able to make a temporary one with a towel or blanket.
Cool things off.
Ice is an excellent therapy for you to use both before and after you see your doctor. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off; icing in 20-minute periods can help reduce both pain and swelling.
Keep your stomach empty.
Speaking of ice, limit your food intake to ice chips if possible until you can get to your doctor. Your doctor’s treatment will work best if your stomach is empty, so limiting your food intake can help ensure a smoother repair and recovery period.
Take a mild painkiller.
While your doctor may prescribe a more substantial painkiller, you can minimize discomfort with a mild over the counter painkiller until you are able to see your doctor. Avoid taking any prescription painkillers that may interact with treatments your doctor prescribes, and let your doctor know about any medication you have taken. To take the edge off the initial injury, however, consider taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Stretch it out.
After you see your doctor, he or she may suggest certain movements and exercises to heal and strengthen your shoulder. You should follow your doctor’s advice closely, and ask him or her if you have any questions about the advisability of certain arm movements.
Although your doctor will need to do the actual repositioning of your shoulder, following these tips for self-care can help you manage your injury before and after your doctor’s visit. For additional advice and tips, learn more at www.sgbonedoctor.com.