While many people aim to return to sports after suffering a serious injury, others want to exercise. Lifting weights is a common desire I hear from my patients. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question of a reader who wants to return to the gym as quickly as possible after you dislocate your shoulder.

Don asks:
I just dislocated my right shoulder, and I’m in a sling right now. I want to get into working out again, but I don’t know how long I should wait.

Surgical treatment for many shoulder dislocations

A shoulder dislocation can be a difficult injury, especially in a young, active person. There is a high incidence of recurrent injuries, meaning that you can suffer repeated shoulder dislocations. That is a key reason orthopedic surgeons often treat these injuries by arthroscopic surgery to reattach the labrum and tighten the capsule.

Also read:
Can you return to play after a shoulder dislocation?

Rehab and return to sports and exercise after you dislocate your shoulder

If you decide to try to avoid surgery, physical therapy can be helpful to regain strength and function of that arm. It’s hard to know how much it decreases your chance of ultimately needing surgery, but it might help you lift weights and train in your sport quicker. Also, wearing a sling can help with discomfort and swelling for a period of time.

What can you do after you dislocate your shoulder?

In this video, I discuss the initial treatment of a shoulder dislocation, including the use of a sling, going to physical therapy and seeing an orthopedic surgeon to discuss surgical options.

Also read:
Return to play after shoulder dislocation surgery

I want to help you! Please take a few seconds to share the biggest challenge or struggle you’re facing with your injury! Click here!

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