As a myotherapist, I see my fair share of weird and wonderful injuries. But one of the most common injuries that requires proper rehabilitation is a dislocated joint. So let’s look at all the things you need to know if you’ve dislocated a joint.
What is a dislocation?
A dislocation is the full displacement of a bone at the joint. So the bone is moved to somewhere outside of the joint it belongs to.
Dislocating a joint is incredibly painful for most people. But along with short-term severe pain, it can also predispose someone to chronic pain if not rehabilitated correctly.
Why do dislocations happen?
Generally, dislocations occur due to high-impact trauma to the joint – think car accidents, falls, fights or high-impact sports like football and rugby.
However, if you have a joint that is weakened or unstable, it could be caused by something with minimal force. This is commonly seen in people with hypermobile joints or a hypermobility condition.
Joint shape differences such as hip dysplasia or variations in the shape of shoulder bones can also increase risk of dislocation.
Joints that are at risk of dislocating
Pretty much any joint in the body can be dislocated if there’s enough force. But some have a greater risk of dislocation because of their location and/or their structure. They include:
Dislocation red flags to watch for
If you’ve experienced a dislocation, there are a few things to keep an eye on. These can often warrant medical attention.
The rehab process for dislocations
This can depend on the type of dislocation. The greater the damage to muscles, tendons or ligaments, the longer the process of rehabilitation.
For some people, recovery will take a few weeks, and they will regain their full strength. For others, they are starting with almost no function or stability. So for those people, it’s like learning how to use the joint from scratch.
A history of previous dislocation to the same joint can also mean a longer rehab, as you’ll be attempting to heal twice the damage (or more!) to regain full function.
What can a myotherapist do for dislocations?
So you’ve dislocated a joint, and you want to know what your friendly local myotherapist can do for you. Here’s what I can do to help you recover!
What I CANNOT do is help you relocate a joint that is still dislocated. Relocating dislocations is a medical procedure that is out of my scope as a practitioner.
If you come to the clinic with a dislocated joint, I’ll send you straight over to the Angliss for medical attention! So do yourself a favour and skip the myotherapy session until your joint has been relocated by a medical professional.
Are you recovering from a dislocation injury? Head on over to my booking page, so we can start strengthening your injured joint and get you back to living life!
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully. She has a special interest in chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and more.