The shoulder is one of the most unique and versatile areas of the body. It is capable of performing circumnutate motions that very few joints in the body can. Circumduction is defined as complete conical and circular rotation around a fixed point. Along with the shoulder, only joints like the thumb and the hip fall into this category.
One of the most common injuries of the shoulder is dislocation. Dislocation happens when a primary bone structure and soft tissues dislodge from their natural position. Dislocation is very painful and happens only with traumatic actions. These actions often occur during certain movements in sports. Shoulder dislocation can happen even if tearing of soft tissues, like tendons, does not occur.
The terrible thing about shoulder dislocation is that it seems to happen by surprise. Though the shoulder is supported by many large and small muscles, dislocation tends to happen when least expected. This is partially due to people being unaware of how the shoulder joint works, and how it fails to perform well under stress.
The most common direction of shoulder dislocation is forward, or in an anterior way. While the bone of the upper arm is naturally secured in the shoulder complex, it is influenced by the pull of several strong muscles. Forward shoulder dislocation is normally caused by a strong pull to side or front of the body. Dislocation causes unnatural stretching and torsion of tendons and soft tissues. When this stretching happens, the end of the bone in the upper arm can dislodge from its resting point in the shoulder complex. In short, extreme motions can cause this bone to lodge somewhere else.
Ballistic front force is the cause of most shoulder dislocations, and it is easy to imagine what type of activities can cause this condition. Baseball pitchers must exert extreme force to throw a ball. Without proper conditioning of secondary shoulder muscles, a dislocation can easily happen with a very strong pitch. Someone making a tackle in football can experience a dislocation. As the arms extend to grab an opponent, a side force can literally “pop” the arm from its natural resting position in the shoulder area. Someone who suffers an accident like a fall can experience a dislocation. Bracing the body from impact can subject the shoulder to an unnatural angle that collapses under pressure from guarding the body’s weight on a flat surface.
In short, shoulder dislocations can happen unexpectedly in many situations. The best way to guard against dislocations is to develop the strength and elasticity of the muscles in the shoulder complex. This can be done with specific exercises designed by an experienced personal trainer or medical expert. Strengthening the shoulder muscles can be a long process, but it is worth it to have extra protection against injuries like dislocations.
It is easy to determine if you have a shoulder dislocation. Movement in the shoulders, upper back, and arms will be very limited. There is also a high degree of pain. If there is no soft tissue tearing, most common shoulder dislocations can be reset manually with the help of a medical professional. If there is other damage, future muscular therapies could be prescribed. The best way to avoid shoulder dislocation is to perform daily tasks in an ergonomic way. It is also good to adopt a training program that is designed to strengthen all of the shoulder muscles equally.