shoulder subluxationA shoulder subluxation happens when your shoulder becomes partially disconnected from within the joint socket in your upper body. The shoulder includes a ball and the joint that are held together by connective ligaments. During the subluxation the ball of the upper arms is placed out the shoulder’s socket.

The subluxation often happens among those who had injuries to the shoulder or who put too much pressure on the shoulder by carrying very heavy items or through intense exercises. The ligaments also tear may also tear when the injury occurs and so you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor.


One of the main symptoms includes a popping in the ball and joint part of the shoulder. You will experience shoulder pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty in moving the injured shoulder. During the initial days after the subluxation and treatment, you want to avoid heavy movement of the injured shoulder and get rest.

Physical Therapy

Once you get initial treatment and relocation of your dislocated shoulder, the doctor will then refer you to a physical therapist. The therapist will first evaluate your shoulder and determine what type of exercises would work the best for your shoulder. Some of the exercises include range of motion exercises, posture-building exercises. and muscle-strengthening shoulder workouts. These exercises are designed to provide a solid strength base to your shoulder and to prevent the injury from reoccurring again in the future. After around 6-8 weeks of a treatment, if your condition is not improving, surgery may be considered.

Association with Strokes

While this does not occur among all stroke patients, one symptom of a stroke is shoulder subluxation and other problems in the shoulder joints. Your shoulder muscles weaken and later paralysis takes place on one side of the shoulder. This is because the stroke starts in the brain and heart but it affects other parts of your body.

In addition to the subluxation, you will experience intense shoulder pain during initial days after the stroke. Finally, it will be difficult to move your injured shoulder and in order to recover fully you will need to get physical therapy, surgery, or medications.

Exercises You Can Do While Recovering

After two or three weeks of recovery, you can do shoulder stretches. To perform the exercise, take your arm and place it near your chest while using the other arm to stretch and place it next to the arm that is already on the chest. Another way to stretch is to place your hands on your sides with your elbows bent slightly. You can also use dumbbells to exercise your shoulders so they can be strong again.


Shoulder subluxation is a painful experience but with time and adequate treatment, you will be able to return to your normal activities with less pain and pressure on the shoulder. You should talk with your doctor about different recovery methods and ask about how you can prevent the injury from reoccurring in the future.