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When Will My Dislocated or Separated Shoulder Feel Better? continued...

Some symptoms, like stiffness, may linger for a time. A separated shoulder can sometimes leave a permanent, but painless, bump on your shoulder.

Once the acute symptoms are gone, your doctor will probably want you to start rehabilitation. This will make your shoulder muscles stronger and more limber. It will both help you recover and reduce the chances of future shoulder injuries.

You might start with gentle stretching exercises that become more intense as you get better. But don't start exercising without talking to your doctor first.

Whatever you do, don't rush things. Ease back into your sport. If you play baseball, start by tossing the ball and work up to throwing at full speed. People who play contact sports need to be especially careful that they are fully healed before playing again.

Don't try to return to your previous level of physical activity until:

  • You can move your injured shoulder as freely as your uninjured shoulder.
  • Your injured shoulder feels as strong as your uninjured shoulder.

If you start using your shoulder before it's healed, you could cause permanent damage. Getting back in the game early is not worth the risk of a lifelong disability.

How Can I Prevent a Dislocated Shoulder or Separated Shoulder?

Getting a separated shoulder or a dislocated shoulder is painful and debilitating. So do what you can to reduce your chances of getting either of these injuries.

Here are some tips:

  • If you feel any shoulder pain during physical activity, stop.
  • Exercise and stretch your shoulder muscles regularly.
  • Ice your shoulder after physical activity if you have had a shoulder separation before.
  • Use protective padding to protect from falls if you are at risk of a shoulder dislocation.

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