Can A Chiropractor Fix a Dislocated Shoulder?

old woman with dislocated shoulder asking can a chiropractor fix

If you have ever experienced a dislocated shoulder, you know how painful and debilitating it can be. Faced with the traditional treatment route of an emergency room visit, a potentially uncomfortable procedure to reset the joint, and weeks of rest and recovery, it’s natural to explore alternatives. One such alternative that often comes up is chiropractic treatment. But can a chiropractor fix a dislocated shoulder?

This blog post delves into this question, exploring the capabilities and limitations of chiropractic care in treating a dislocated shoulder.

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone (humerus) pops out of the socket in the shoulder blade (scapula). This can happen due to a sudden impact or trauma, such as a fall or sports injury. It can also be caused by repetitive muscle strains, which are common among athletes and manual laborers.

A dislocated shoulder can present a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Intense pain in the shoulder area that can radiate down the arm
  • Swelling or shoulder bursitis
  • Visible deformity, with the shoulder appearing out of place or misshapen
  • Challenges with moving the shoulder or arm, or an inability to do so
  • A feeling of weakness or numbness in the shoulder or arm
  • Muscle spasms, which may increase the intensity of pain.

Treatment Options for a Dislocated Shoulder

If you suspect you have a dislocated shoulder, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Postponing medical intervention may result in additional harm and the development of complications.

The traditional treatment route for a dislocated shoulder typically involves:

  • Going to the emergency room, a doctor or nurse will perform a physical examination and possibly order X-rays or other imaging tests.
  • Administering a numbing medication to the area and manually resetting the joint back into its socket. This procedure, called a closed reduction, can be painful and may require sedation.
  • Resting the shoulder in a sling for a few weeks while it heals.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any damaged ligaments or tendons in the shoulder.

Can a Chiropractor Fix a Dislocated Shoulder?

chiropractor trying to fix a dislocated shoulder

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal issues, including those related to the spine, joints, and shoulder impingement. They use various techniques, such as spinal adjustments and manipulations, to help restore proper alignment and function of the body.

So, can a chiropractor fix a dislocated shoulder?

The short answer is no. A dislocated shoulder is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention from an orthopedic specialist or emergency room physician.

How Can a Chiropractor Fix a Dislocated Shoulder?

Traditional treatment for a dislocated shoulder involves going to an emergency room to have it put back into place and then wearing a sling for several weeks while the joint heals. But you may be wondering if there is another option for treatment, such as seeing a chiropractor.

While chiropractic care can provide relief for shoulder blade pain and injuries, it is not a recommended treatment for a dislocated shoulder. Chiropractors are not trained to perform the manual manipulation necessary to reset the joint back into its socket. Attempting this procedure without proper training and experience could result in further damage or complications.

However, once the shoulder has been properly reset and is in the healing process, a shoulder adjustment chiropractor can aid in recovery by:

  • Reducing inflammation and swelling through manual adjustments and soft tissue therapy.
  • Improving range of motion through gentle exercises and stretches.
  • Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder to prevent future injuries.

When You Should Visit a Chiropractor for Shoulder Pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, chiropractic care may be recommended as a non-invasive and drug-free option for relieving shoulder pain and improving overall function.

Some common reasons to visit a chiropractor for shoulder pain include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tendonitis or bursitis in the shoulder joint
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Posture-related pain and tension in the shoulders and upper back.

If you believe that your shoulder pain may be related to a dislocated shoulder, it’s important to seek emergency medical care right away. Recovery from a dislocated shoulder may require a combination of traditional treatment methods and chiropractic care to promote healing and prevent future injuries.

Why Visit a Chiropractor for Shoulder Pain?

girl with a chiropractor for dislocated shoulder

While a chiropractor may not be able to fix a dislocated shoulder, they can provide valuable support during the recovery process.

Chiropractic care offers a variety of benefits for shoulder pain, including:

  1. Drug-free pain relief: Chiropractors use natural methods such as spinal adjustments and soft tissue therapy to alleviate pain and help the body heal itself.
  2. Improved range of motion: Chiropractic care can help with posture correction and improve joint mobility, making it easier to move and perform daily tasks.
  3. Faster healing: By reducing inflammation and promoting proper healing, chiropractic care can help speed up the recovery process.
  4. Prevention of future injuries: Regular chiropractic adjustments can help strengthen muscles, improve posture, and prevent future shoulder injuries.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or have recently suffered a dislocated shoulder, talk to your doctor about incorporating chiropractic care into your treatment plan. With proper medical attention and support from a chiropractor, you can get back to living an active and pain-free life.

Remember, early intervention is key when it comes to treating shoulder injuries, so don’t hesitate to seek help if you suspect something is wrong.

Risks Associated with Seeing a Chiropractor for Dislocated Shoulder

While chiropractic care is generally safe and effective, some risks are associated with seeking treatment from a chiropractor for a dislocated shoulder. These risks include:

  • Incomplete reduction of the joint: If the chiropractor is not properly trained in performing manual manipulations, they may not be able to fully reset the joint back into its socket.
  • Nerve damage or injury: Manipulating the shoulder joint can put pressure on surrounding nerves and tissues, causing pain or potential damage.
  • Delayed healing: Improper treatment of a dislocated shoulder could lead to delayed healing or further complications.
  • Misdiagnosis: If your shoulder pain is not related to a dislocation, seeking treatment from a chiropractor may delay getting appropriate medical care for your condition.

It’s important to discuss any potential risks with your chiropractor and healthcare team before starting treatment. Always choose a licensed and experienced chiropractor who has a good reputation for treating shoulder pain and injuries.


1. Can a chiropractor help with a dislocated shoulder?

No, a chiropractor cannot fix a dislocated shoulder. However, they can provide valuable support during the recovery process by reducing inflammation, improving range of motion, and strengthening muscles to prevent future injuries.

2. Does health insurance cover a chiropractor for the shoulder?

Some health insurance plans may cover chiropractic care for shoulder pain as part of their coverage for rehabilitation or physical therapy. It’s important to check with your insurance provider beforehand to determine if chiropractic care is covered.

3. What techniques do chiropractors use to fix a shoulder?

Chiropractors may use manual adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and exercises/stretches to promote healing and improve function in the shoulder. They may also provide guidance on proper posture and strengthening exercises for the long-term prevention of future injuries.

Bottom Line: Should You Visit a Chiropractor for a Dislocated Shoulder?

While a chiropractor cannot fix a dislocated shoulder, they can offer valuable support and aid in the recovery process. Additionally, regular chiropractic care may help prevent future shoulder injuries. It’s important to discuss your treatment options with your healthcare team and choose a licensed chiropractor who is experienced in treating shoulder pain and injuries. Remember to always seek immediate medical attention for a suspected dislocated shoulder and consult with your doctor before starting any new treatment plan.

For more exclusive insights and tips on chiropractic care specifically chiropractor costs, we invite you to read our other blog posts on chiropractic care.

Stay informed, stay healthy!

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