Shoulder injuries are difficult to endure and can be a setback for many active individuals. However, if you actively work with your body to assist in the healing process, full recovery from a shoulder injury is possible. Some patients make critical mistakes during the recovery process that slows healing or causes improper healing.
Here’s what not to do after sustaining a shoulder injury, such as dislocation.
- Patients do not wear their sling. If you have dislocated your shoulder, especially if it is a chronic injury, immobilizing the joint is critical in the healing process. Many patients don’t like wearing braces or slings because they find them to be irritating or attention-grabbing. In order to properly recover from shoulder injuries, a sling or brace must be worn as per the directions of your orthopaedic surgeon.
- Patients forget about or cancel follow-up appointments. After treatment or surgery it is important that patients revisit their orthopaedic surgeon so that he or she can evaluate your progress and monitor healing.
- Patients return to activity too quickly. While you may not be experiencing pain, that doesn’t mean you can go about normal movements too quickly after treatment or surgery. Follow the advice of your surgeon and only return to activity after adequate healing has occurred.
- Patients skip physical therapy sessions. Too much or too little activity can hinder the healing process. Joints are tricky areas of the body to heal, and physical therapists can teach you the proper exercises that will help you heal. Also, it is beneficial to do these exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist because they can ensure you won’t sustain further injury.
- Patients don’t practice RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). After treatment or physical therapy it is important to give your shoulder a rest. Following the RICE method can help sooth the joint and help support healthy blood flow to the joint to promote tissue healing.