Dislocated shoulder

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 12/4/2008 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   
how do you know if you have a dislocated shoulder? I hear a pop in my shoulder and it hurts bad when I move my shoulder or arm. I have been using my normal pain meds for the pain. I have no insurance so I can not go to the dr's. My husband thinks I just pulled a muscle and I dont need to go to the er.Does anyone have any advice how to treat shoulder pain ?
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 12/4/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kara,

I'm not a doctor, but I have had a lot of experience in this area from my own shoulder injuries. I've had 3 surgeries on my shoulders, 2 on one, and one on the other.

If your shoulder is completely dislocated, you'll know it. It will hurt HORRIBLY and will literally be hanging out of the joint, you will probably also not really be able to move it.. Your shoulder might be sub-luxating, or partially dislocating. Mine used to do that all the time. They got so bad that they hardly stayed in the joint anymore & I had to have them both surgically tied into the joint (I had horrible ligament damage from years of national level competitive swimming). Sub-luxation often causes popping & clicking sounds. You might also feel like your shoulder "jumps" when you move it, esp in certain directions. You can also feel pulling, esp when your arm is hanging at your side (due to gravity).

Sub-luxating can be caused by a number of problems. My first injury (when the sub-luxation began) was a torn labrum. The labrum is the cartilage which lines the glenoid cavity of the shoulder joint. When the labrum is torn, it can cause sub-luxation as the head of the humerus (your upper arm bone) will get caught against the tear, causing clicking, and if you move your arm forcefully enough, it can cause it to momentarily jump out of the joint. I had severe pain very deep within my shoulder when I tore my labrum, so deep that there was no way the I could get to it. Labral tears are usually diagnosed on an MRI, although they don't always show, mine didn't and 80% of my labrum was torn.

Sub-luxation can also be caused by loose ligaments or ligament damage, as the ligaments are what hold the shoulder in the joint. I don't believe that rotator cuff injuries usually cause sub-luxation, although that is the only shoulder injury that I have not had.

I don't have time to write out suggestions for treatment right now, but I wrote a bunch of things to Pamela yesterday, so see her thread on shoulder pain.

I know you said that you don't have insurance, but I would try to find someway to get it checked out. If it is sub-luxating, it can cause damage to the joint capsule & esp ligaments if you let it continue untreated for a long period of time (not to scare you, but my second surgery in which I had to have my previously injured shoulder tied into place was caused by extreme ligament damage from a combination of 2yrs of constant sub-luxating & being stubborn & returning to the pool and not listening to my body).

Good luck! I hope you can get some relief and some answers!


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/5/2008 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
You certainly have my sympathy. You know that. I'm just miserable with my
shoulder. I'm going to HAVE to go to the doctor one of these days real soon.
You too.

I think I told you that I injured my shoulder by carrying around two and three
year old children in my left arm while I made chicken soup or put on puppet
shows with my right. I had a home daycare for 12 preschool aged children. smhair
smhair I did this for 20 years. I never let my assistants pick up the babies.
"You might injure YOUR back," I'd say. It never occured to me that I would injure
MY back.
After I quit I sat slumped at the computer for a couple years. I was highly stressed
as I tried to learn how to type, learn to use the computer, and learn to write a book
about my experiences. (At that time I wasn't in pain) After the computer experience,
I knew Pain very well.
I sure can understand how swimming would do your shoulders in. Oh yes. Learn to

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 12/5/2008 12:08:05 PM (GMT-7)

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/7/2008 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   

How is your shoulder? My shoulder pain changes all the time? I never know
which body part is going to be in pain from day to day. It's always a surprise.
Pamela :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/7/2008 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Kara, I just wanted to say I know that feeling..I experienced a lot of "popping" and "catching" in my left shoulder for about 3-4 months before I finally went to the Ortho Dr. (My GP told me it was just in my head) well 3 1/2 weeks a go I had surgery for 3 bone spurs and a ton of arthritis cleaned out. He is holding of on the total shoulder replacement as I am having some surgery tomarrow for something else. I know that when I slept it would bother me a lot, like catching or I could not reach around behind my back with out severe pain or a popping and catching there too. I am Not a Dr., but maybe you have an impingement like I had. You might have to see a dr sooner or later...But my sister had a dislocated shoulder and that pain was totally unbearable, (like Skeye said) you would have gone to the ER  by now I think. can you go to the County Hospital. They help you get medicaid for emergencys. I was told to put hot packs and then cold packs on mine for the inflammation..but...didn't help, this arthritis and degenerative stuff stinks, doesn't it?
Pamela, same thing to you..good luck..my shoulder feels better now after the surgery!
 Degernative Joint disease, Depression,severe Hypertension, Ulcers, Nerve damage,OA, stroke & blindness in left eye
  Prozac 80 mgs, Synthroid, Ultram, Metroprolol, Lipitor, Norvasc, Vicadin,
  Bilaterla hip replacements, Bilateral knee replacements, Titanium Spine Fusion (L4-5)(4 spine surgeries)Oblation for SVT(supra ventricular tachycardia) Biopsy of left Optic Nerve, left shoulder surgery, revision of left hip
The hardest lesson in life to learn...Is which Bridge to cross and which ones to Burn.

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/8/2008 3:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I heard that. Oh yes. I am going to have to do something sooner or later. Skeye
suggests "sooner." Oh I dunno... I dunno.
Pamela Chickenheart

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/8/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Where's Kara?
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