Shoulder Dislocations

Home / Shoulder Health / Shoulder Dislocations
Nanaimo Massage Therapy

Shoulder Dislocations

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and as a result it is at risk for dislocation. A shoulder can be dislocated anteriorly (forward), inferiorly (downward) or posteriorly (backward) but over 95% of dislocations happen anteriorly or a combination of anterior and inferior. This can be as a result of an impact to or fall on an outstretched arm.


When the shoulder is dislocated the humeral head is forced out of the glenoid fossa. This traumatizes the gleno-humeral ligaments and can also damage the glenoid labrum. Weakness and instability are common following dislocations and may persist for long after the dislocation is resolved. The main ligaments damaged during an initial dislocation are the superior and middle gleno-humeral ligaments. Subsequent dislocations traumatize the inferior gleno-humeral ligament. The inferior gleno-humeral ligament is critical for shoulder stability. This highlights the importance of properly treating the initial dislocation.


Anyone who suspects they have dislocated their shoulder should seek immediate medical attention. Once the extent of the damage is known and the dislocation has been resolved, your medical practitioner will suggest a treatment strategy. Pure Body Balance has many skilled practitioners including Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Registered Massage Therapists who can assist in recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

Nanaimo Chiropractor

Once your dislocation has been resolved and you have completed your treatment plan there are some things you can do to lower the risk of future injury. The keys to preventing instability or future dislocations are to strengthen the anterior shoulder girdle (pecs) and the rotator cuff. It is important to reinforce the traumatized ligaments by strengthening the pecs, and strengthening the rotator cuff will help enhance stability by pulling the humeral head into the glenoid fossa.


Some of the exercises you can use to enhance stability in the shoulder and reduce the risk of future dislocations are listed below. These exercises should only be attempted once you have received clearance from a medical professional to begin exercising on your own.

Rotator Cuff Strengthening: Int rotation and Ext rotation with rubber tubing (always have a rolled towel between your arm and body)

Seated Pushups

Posterior Shoulder girdle strengthening: Band Pull-a-parts

Chest Press

If you have any questions relating to exercise after you have exited medical care, Pure Integrated Training provides Post Rehabilitation Programs and information. Contact them to find out more.


To your health,

Keegan Marshall CPT, CES

Recent Posts
Contact Us

Please send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.