In hindsight, you probably shouldn’t have been climbing that tree.
There you were, swinging to and fro, thinking you got everything in the bag. Then there’s a loud popping noise. You’re suddenly hurting like hell. You could barely walk from the pain.
Say hello to shoulder pain. Now how soon can you say goodbye to it?
Spraining your shoulders can be caused by a lot of different things. Maybe you’re playing a contact sport, or fell on an outstretched arm. Any one of these things, and more, can result to abrupt pain and all of a sudden, being unable to lift your arms.
But is it really a sprained shoulder that’s bothering you? How can you be sure that it’s not dislocated? Actually, how can you be sure you didn’t just pull a muscle? Lets take a look.
Bones are connected by tough bands of fibrous tissues around the joints called ligaments. And contrary to what most people think, the shoulder doesn’t just have one joint connecting it from the arm to the torso. It’s actually got several more.
Ligaments important for it to function well also connect the shoulder blade, the bony knob on top of that, the collarbone and the breast bone.
A sprain is what happens when the shoulder ligaments tear. Most of the time, what tears is the ligament between the collarbone and the bony knob of the shoulder blade.
Dare You to Move (What are the Signs?)
So, collided with something hard: √check. Sudden intense pain: √check. Sprained shoulder: uh, maybe.
So how can you tell for sure? You can check for the following signs around the area:
Pain, tenderness and swelling
Redness, warmth or bruising
Limited ability to move
Increased pain with movement
If you experience any of the above after a blow to the area, it’s best to see a doctor. Delaying may just aggravate the condition.
The physician will then likely have you subjected to:
- MRI Scan
What to Do?
So yeah, it’s a sprain alright. Now what?
Well, there’s no way you’re climbing that tree again in the immediate future, that’s what.
You need to:
- Rest the injury as much as possible.
- Apply an ice pack 3-4 times every day for 2-3 days. Keep it on for at least 15 minutes.
- Take the medicine prescribed by your doctor.
Oh, were you thinking you needed physical therapy?
In some cases, exercises do help in reducing the pain. They can also increase the shoulder strength and flexibility. So yeah, go ahead and ask your doctor what exercises would be good for you to try.
Now let’s talk about how long you’d have to stay that way.
Out of Commission
Just how long can you expect to be out of commission from a sprained shoulder?
Well, if it’s a mild one, the soreness should go away within a couple of weeks. After that you’d be back to moving as normal.
If the ligaments are torn up rather visibly though, but remain intact, the ache may lessen in 2 weeks. But it could take as much as 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.
It must be noted though, that if you’re an athlete, there is a high risk of injuring yourself again in the same area. This is why athletes are usually asked to undergo 3-5 months of rehabilitation before returning to their sport.
It sucks to be out of commission, in pain and barely allowed to move. So if you’re playing high contact, high impact sports, make sure you wear protective equipment to avoid injuries.
But if you’re just a nitwit who insists on being a daredevil, then maybe a bump in the head will set you straight. Kidding! I’m kidding! Really though, as with everything else, Prevention is better than cure. So maybe lay off the gymnastics for a while, okay?