Shoulder dislocations often occur breaking a fall with the hand, which is what happened to Carragher at the weekend. The shoulder joint is the most mobile and therefore, least stabile joint in the body.
The joint capsule, ligaments, bone, blood vessels, nerves and tendons are often damaged at the same time as the dislocation.
So what do you need to do to rehabilitate a shoulder dislocation?
In the acute phase:
- Surgery is normally required
- Rest from normal training
- The arm may need to be initially immobilized in a sling
- Taping can be used
- Anti-inflammatory protocols, including Traumeel, Wobenzyme and anti-inflammatory foods
In the post-acute phase:
- When able to, the shoulder should be gently moved into pain-free ranges of motion to recover the full range of motion of the spine and abdomen and help re-align scar tissue
- Sports massage and/or Neuromuscular Therapy should be used to help aid the healing, eliminate metabolic waste, re-align scar tissue and eliminate muscular spasms and trigger points.
- Corrective exercise should be included to improve muscle balance in the torso, shoulder, shoulder girdle and neck.
- Strength training normally begins with isometric, then concentric and finally eccentric work.
- When possible, closed-chain shoulder exercises are a good place to start the rehabilitation process, such as the Horse Stance Series (below).
- Following on from closed-chain exercises, open-chain shoulder exercises such as cable rotator cuff work should be introduced prior to introducing pushing, pulling and pressing type movements.
- Movements should begin at low load, low speed and high repetition gradually increasing intensity, speed and reducing repetitions as the tissues strengthen.
- Sport specific movement patterns must be re-trained at intensities close to competition levels prior to returning to competition. Failure to do so is asking for trouble.
Recovery time is normally around three to four months, so looks like Jamie will have his feet up for Christmas with his family this year.