Conveniently located throughout Melbourne and Gippsland

No referral needed

If you’ve dislocated your shoulder, have feelings of instability, or have recently had surgery for shoulder instability. You’ve come to the right place.

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Suggest X-ray following an acute dislocation

Shoulder dislocation - poster or anterior fracture
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Sling immobilisation for 7-10 days following acute dislocation. Some dislocators will do well with surgery. In non-operative cases, immobilisation is followed by exercise aiming to teach the shoulder girdle and rotator cuff muscles to stabilise the glenohumeral joint.


Dislocated shoulder are among the most common acute sporting injuries. In most cases, a shoulder dislocation will occur through high impact force through the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint whilst in an unstable position. Generally speaking the shoulder can dislocate in three different directions, anteriorly (forward), posteriorly (backwards), or inferiorly (downwards). 

By far, the most common dislocation is an anterior dislocation. Depending on the research you quote, it makes up to 90% of total acute dislocations. These injuries occur when the arm is forced into an abducted and externally rotated (‘Stop Sign’) position. A posterior dislocation is far less common and generally occurs in one of two ways; a direct fall onto an outstretched and inwardly rotated arm (common in motorcycle accidents), or during a fit such as a seizure or electric shock.

It is common to have concurrent injuries as a result of a shoulder dislocation, such as labral tears, fractures, rotator cuff tears and nerve or vascular injury. It is imperative that if you have dislocated your shoulder that you have it appropriately assessed, and have an individualised treatment plan made.

Hand, wrist & forearm, elbow, shoulder injuries from sports | action rehab


If you have dislocated your shoulder, often it will self-reduce (relocate). If it remains dislocated, often but not always, the shoulder will have a deformity and loss of its round curvature. Afterwards it can feel like you have a ‘dead arm’ with numbness on the side of the shoulder and an inability to move it. Pain location can vary, depending on the structures involved, but will often feel deep and in a vague area. In the weeks following , people may experience recurrent instability episodes when loading the shoulder that can become more frequent and worsening, and can happen during low impact activities such as sneezing and rolling in bed.

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.

Our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists have extensive knowledge and experience in assessing, diagnosing, treating, and managing your hand and upper extremity – your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand – injuries or conditions, so you know you’re in good hands.

The hand therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in the assessment and treatment of dislocated shoulder. With a reputation endorsed by sporting organisations like the Melbourne Football Club, Action Rehab is the smart choice for treating your dislocated shoulder.

Get on the road to recovery, so you can do the things you love.


Excellent treatment of a shoulder dislocation is predicated on your therapists ability to perform a thorough assessment, and develop a treatment plan that is correct for the individual.

Your therapist will review your history and scans, followed by a physical assessment to determine the stability of your joint and the quality of your soft tissue.

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Conservative Approach

Where indicated, our therapists will endeavour to prioritise non-operative management of your injuries. Action rehab therapists have treated vast numbers of people who have dislocated their shoulder. The goals of rehab are to ensure that you’re managing your pain and to increase the stability of your shoulder joint.

Initially, a dislocated shoulder should be placed in either a broad arm sling or external rotation sling for 7-10 days. Immobilising your arm for any longer won’t guarantee a more stable joint and may delay your recovery.

 Your therapist will then take you through a personalised rehabilitation program that may include:

  • Taping
  • Parascapular strengthening
  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Weight bearing exercise
  • Plyometric exercise
If you’re an athlete, the biggest question you will be asking is ‘when can I play?’ Of course the answer is, ‘it depends.’ Depending on the research you quote, return to sport can range from 5 days to 9 months. Re-dislocation in sport occurs in up to 70% of cases, so it is imperative that you don’t rush. We have stringent return to play protocols that patients pass prior to returning to sport.
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Surgical Approach

Depending on your circumstances, an operation may be indicated prior to commencing a rehabilitation program to prevent recurrent dislocations or osteoarthritis later in life.

In your initial appointment, your therapist will review your situation and take into account:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Concurrent injuries (eg; fracture/ bone loss, labral tear, rotator cuff tear)
  • Sport
  • Work
  • General laxity or hypermobility
  • The shape of your shoulder joint
Surgical options will vary depending on the specifics of your injury, but will range from arthroscopic (key-hole) surgery to an open stabilisation. We work closely with some of the best upper limb surgeons in Melbourne and when indicated will organise for you to have an opinion.

To Book Call Us On 1300 762 227

Call us on 1300 762 227 for an appointment, or schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


Dislocated Shoulder is complex and can lead to serious complications and frustrations if not treated appropriately.

Choosing the right therapist starts with them being able to read your X-rays and then plan a treatment plan for you. The therapists at Action Rehab are experienced in assessing and reading X-rays.

Our therapists do regular GP and Emergency Doctor training and can advise on the most appropriate action for your dislocated shoulder.

Known for providing treatment for dislocated shoulder and other hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries Action Rehab are the hand therapists that Melbourne trusts.

To make an appointment, enquire, or find your closest location call us on 1300 762 227 or schedule an appointment online.
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Shoulder’s are the second most dislocated joint in the body and make up a high proportion of not only sporting related injuries, but are common work or domestic injuries.

Shoulder dislocations generally start as a a traumatic injury, usually in a fall onto an outstretched hand. As time goes on, dislocations can be caused by more low energy events such as sneezing or rolling in bed.

Recovery from a shoulder dislocation depends on multiple factors and what you are aiming to return to, but can take anywhere up to 9-months to recover from.

Though not necessarily vital, younger people will have less risk of recurrent dislocations if they have any operation.

Shoulder Dislocation can be a serious injury, you should always consult with an appropriately trained therapist to review your injury.

It is important to have you shoulder attended to after a dislocation in order to prevent to risk of future dislocations or arthritis.


Action Rehab provide assessment and treatment for all conditions relating to the upper limb, including shoulder dislocation. Come and see our highly qualified and friendly staff today at a location convenient to you.