Dislocation of Shoulder Recovery Time: What You Need to Know

Shoulder dislocation can be a painful and debilitating injury. If you’ve experienced a shoulder dislocation, you’re probably wondering about the recovery process and how long it will take to get back to normal.

In this blog, we will delve into everything you need to know about shoulder dislocation recovery time. From understanding what happens during a shoulder dislocation to common causes, we’ll cover it all. We’ll also discuss the path to recovery, including immediate post-dislocation steps and the role of physiotherapy.

So read on to find tips on how to prevent future dislocations and shed light on the prevalence of recurrent shoulder dislocations.

Understanding Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone (humerus) pops out of the shoulder socket. When this happens, the soft tissues in the affected arm get torn. It can happen due to a direct blow to the shoulder or excessive force applied during activities like rugby, volleyball, skiing, stretching, or contact sports.

Common symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include intense pain, inflammation, stiffness, swelling, and limited range of motion. Seeking medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment options may include immobilization with a sling, closed reduction to realign the bones, and physiotherapy for rehabilitation. Following a proper recovery plan and taking preventive measures can help avoid future dislocations.

Common Causes of Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder dislocation can occur as a result of various factors, including shoulder injuries, fracture, sports-related accident, falls, or accidents. Engaging in high impact activities such as rugby or football and arthritis can increase the risk of shoulder dislocation.

Trauma or direct impact to the shoulder joint is also a common cause of dislocation. Other contributing factors include improper lifting techniques or sudden jerking motions. Additionally, individuals with loose or weak ligaments may be more prone to experiencing shoulder dislocation.

It is important to get proper diagnosis done with an MRI or x-ray to determine the posterior or anterior shoulder dislocation.

The Path to Recovery: Timeline and Factors

Dislocation of shoulder recovery time

The full recovery time for a dislocated shoulder varies depending on factors such as the severity of the dislocation, age, overall health, and adherence to rehabilitation protocols. Generally, the initial recovery period is about 6-12 weeks.

Physiotherapy is crucial for restoring strength, mobility, and stability to the shoulder joint. Complying with prescribed rehabilitation exercises and avoiding activities that could reinjure the shoulder are key to successful recovery.

Immediate Post-Dislocation Steps

After a shoulder dislocation, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. To prevent further damage, the shoulder should be immobilized using a sling or brace. Applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding rest, rehabilitation exercises, and medication. Keep in mind that recovery time may vary based on factors such as age, overall health, and the severity of the dislocation.

Role of Physiotherapy in Recovery

Physiotherapy in London

Physiotherapy is a crucial aspect of recovering from a dislocated shoulder. It helps restore strength and range of motion to the shoulder joint, promoting healing and preventing future dislocations. Physiotherapists use various techniques, including exercises, manual therapy, and modalities, to accelerate recovery and minimise complications.

The duration of physiotherapy depends on factors such as the severity of the dislocation, individual healing ability, and adherence to the treatment plan. Regular participation in physiotherapy sessions and diligent at-home exercises are essential for achieving optimal recovery.

One Body LDN offers physiotherapy in London to help with anterior and posterior shoulder dislocation. Our physiotherapy services in London are specifically designed to aid in the recovery of shoulder dislocations. We understand the importance of regaining strength, mobility, and stability in the shoulder joint to ensure a successful recovery.

As soon as you experience a shoulder dislocation, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. This will allow for proper diagnosis and treatment, preventing further damage to the area. Immobilizing the shoulder with a sling or brace and applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain during this initial post-dislocation phase.

When Can Daily Activities Be Resumed After Dislocation?

After a shoulder dislocation, the recovery time varies based on the severity. Generally, daily activities can be resumed gradually within 6-12 weeks. Follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and engage in physiotherapy exercises for optimal recovery. Additional time and clearance may be required for sports or strenuous activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it typically take to recover from a dislocated shoulder?

The recovery time for a dislocated shoulder can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Typically, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully recover. Physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises play a crucial role in regaining strength and range of motion during the recovery process.

What are some factors that can affect the recovery time for a dislocated shoulder?

Factors that can influence the recovery time for a dislocated shoulder include the severity of the dislocation and associated injuries, the age and overall health of the individual, adherence to the prescribed treatment plan, and commitment to rest and avoiding activities that could reinjure the shoulder.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, start by searching online directories or using search engines. You can also ask for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals in your area. Check with your insurance provider for covered clinics and consider hospital-affiliated clinics for experienced therapists.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To find sports massage near you, try searching online directories like Yelp, Google Maps, or TripAdvisor. You can also check out local fitness centres, sports clinics, or physiotherapy offices. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or fellow athletes who have received sports massages in your area. One Body LDN offers sports massage in London. Their experienced therapists are skilled in providing specialized treatments to athletes and individuals seeking relief from sports-related injuries or muscle tension.


In conclusion, the recovery time for a shoulder dislocation varies depending on various factors such as the severity of the dislocation, the individual’s overall health, and their commitment to rehabilitation. It is important to follow the recommended treatment plan, including immediate post-dislocation steps and physiotherapy, to optimize the healing process and prevent future dislocations.

While surgery may be necessary in certain cases, it is not always the first line of treatment. The decision to undergo surgery should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional who can assess the specific situation.

To prevent further dislocations, lifestyle changes and precautions should be taken, such as avoiding activities that put excessive strain on the shoulder and maintaining a regular exercise routine to strengthen the muscles around the joint.

If you are searching “private physio near me” / “Sports massage near me” / “Deep tissue massage near me” / “pain treatment near me”, have private health insurance physiotherapy cover and are looking for the best private healthcare in London – One Body LDN is your answer.

We are approved by ALL major private health insurance physiotherapy companies:

Axa PPP | Axa PPP International | Bupa Physiotherapy | Bupa International | Vitality (formerly Pru Health) | Vitality Health International | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Aetna International | Allianz | Allianz Worldwide Care | Allianz International | Axa Private Health Insurance | Healix | Healix Global | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Paycare | BHSF | The PHC | Saga | The Exeter | Freedom Healthcare | Axa Corporate Health Insurance

Our approved physiotherapists are ready to take care of you!

Contact us today to learn more!


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