What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder is when an awkward movement or action forcefully disjoins the upper arm bone (humerus) from the shoulder socket. Dislocating your shoulder may cause severe pain and damage to the ligaments and tendons. You will also lose the ability to move your arm normally until the bone is successfully put back into the shoulder socket.

NOTE: It is important that if you have sustained a dislocated shoulder, you do not try to force the arm back into its socket by yourself. Please seek professional medical assistance immediately. More damage can be done by relocating the bone back into the socket yourself.

Once you have received the appropriate treatment you will need shoulder braces to provide support to speed up the healing process. Depending on your injury Better Braces has the right shoulder support to suit you.

How does a Dislocated Shoulder Happen?

A dislocated shoulder is usually the result of heavy trauma to the shoulder causing the humerus bone to become disjoined from the shoulder socket. While it is the most common shoulder injury in sports, a dislocated shoulder can occur outside of sports.

The main causes of a traumatic shoulder dislocation include:

  • Shoulder collision: full contact sports such as rugby cause high stress and traumatic force on the shoulders. If the arm is struck while in an awkward position this can result in a dislocated shoulder.
  • Falling: awkward positioning, falling onto your shoulder, bracing yourself with your arms.
  • Motor vehicle accident: sudden jolts and bumps from different directions make it common to have dislocated joints during car accidents. Because the movement is sudden not allowing you to brace in time, the shoulder receives a significant amount of traumatic force it cannot withstand.

There are also causes that are unrelated to traumatic pressure, these include:

  • Repetitive/excessive stress on the shoulder ligament
  • Instability in shoulder joint: your shoulder may become unstable in certain directions due to general wear and tear over time.
  • Age: wear and tearis common with age andcan cause the ligaments that secure the humerus bone into the shoulder socket to become loose and weaken.

Symptoms of a Dislocated Shoulder:

Dislocated shoulders will result in immediate symptoms of:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to rotate or move arms and shoulders
  • Deformation: Bone protruding from collar bone
  • Numbness/weakness of the arm


Most likely you are reading this either while waiting to see medical advice or after. It is important that you seek professional advice to assess the severity of your injury and the appropriate treatment.

If you suffer from dislocated shoulders regularly, ongoing physiotherapy is recommended to rehabilitate the shoulder muscles and ligaments. Along with the in-depth exercise programs that your physiotherapist will prescribe, you will need the right shoulder brace to support for a speedy recovery.

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