One of the few conditions that requires immobilization for a significant period after injury is the shoulder dislocation. Dislocations are common injuries suffered by athletes. Once physical therapy care is over, the shoulder dislocation client should be referred to a post rehab program to continued strengthening. Let’s outline the 3 keys to managing the post rehab shoulder dislocation client.
1) Improve joint stability
2) Strengthen the pectoralis
3) Avoid extreme shoulder horizontal abduction, external rotation and extension
These 3 keys are a foundation for the post rehab shoulder dislocation program. Developing the post rehab program based on this foundation will produce positive functional results.
Post Rehab Challenge
Your client is a 48 year old female who fell on an outstretched hand resulting in a shoulder dislocation. She completed a 7 week program of physical therapy. She presents at your facility with a post rehab referral signed by her physician. She has 160 degrees of shoulder flexion and abduction. Both movements are pain free. She does have weakness when reaching overhead but no pain. Her rotator cuff muscles are weak. Which muscle(s) are important to strengthen to improve her joint stability? Which ligament structures are damaged with shoulder dislocation?