The shoulder joint, because it is a ball and socket joint, allows people to move their arms in various directions that other joints cannot do. However, the wide range of motion ball and socket joints provide comes with a price—the shoulder is more susceptible to dislocations.
A dislocated shoulder occurs when a person receives a hard blow or falls awkwardly on the shoulder. The hard blow or awkward fall causes the upper arm bone to be separated from the shoulder blade socket. It is easy to diagnose a dislocated shoulder as most cases exhibit a deformation of the shoulder area accompanied by pain when attempting to move the arm.
After sustaining a dislocated shoulder, a quick trip to a sports medicine clinic should be a priority. More often than not, the pain and swelling that accompany a dislocated shoulder intensifies with each passing minute after the injury occurs.
Upon arriving at the clinic, a sports medicine professional will then reposition the arm bone back into the shoulder blade socket. You may then be given some anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling. You may also be asked to come back to the clinic for physical therapy if the dislocation is severe. Severe dislocations often damage the tissue in the shoulder, opening the door for more dislocations in the future.