Dislocated Shoulder



A partial dislocation (subluxation) means the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) is partially out of the socket (glenoid). A complete dislocation means it is all the way out of the socket. Both partial and complete dislocation causes pain and unsteadiness in the shoulder. Dislocation may tear ligaments or tendons in the shoulder or damage nerves. Having a dislocated shoulder is very painful, and it will be very hard to move your arm. You may also have some swelling and bruising to your shoulder, and you may have numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or fingers.

  • Past history of shoulder injuries
  • Injury (sport injuries, falls)

Severe pain stops almost immediately when the shoulder joint is back in place. After the swelling goes down physiotherapy helps to restore the shoulder’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles. Rehabilitation may also help to prevent dislocating the shoulder again in the future.

  • Ultrasound and/or electrical stimulation
  • Therapeutic soft tissue techniques
  • Exercise program to increase range of motion and strengthen muscles to reduce the incidence of recurring dislocation