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Injuries to a bone, muscle, joint or ligament in the shoulder
Types of Shoulder Injuries
Fractures (broken bones)
Dislocations (bone out of joint)
Sprains - stretches and tears of ligaments
Strains - stretches and tears of muscles (e.g., pulled muscle)
Muscle overuse injuries from sports or exercise (e.g., strain, bursitis, tendonitis)
Muscle bruise from a direct blow (e.g., contusion)
Causes extrinsic to shoulder (referred pain) - Examples include neck pain, cardiac disease, abdominal disorders, spleen injury
ANIMAL BITE to shoulder
BURN of shoulder
PUNCTURE WOUND to shoulder
SKIN INJURY is main concern
FIRST AID Advice for Bleeding: Apply direct pressure to the entire wound with a clean cloth.
FIRST AID Advice for Penetrating Object: If penetrating object still in place, don't remove it (Reason: removal could increase bleeding).
FIRST AID Advice for Shock: Lie down with feet elevated.
FIRST AID Advice for Suspected Fracture or Dislocation of the Shoulder:
Use a sling to support the arm. Make the sling with a triangular piece of cloth.
Or, at the very least, the patient can support the injured arm with the other hand or a pillow.
Major bleeding (actively dripping or spurting) that can't be stopped
Amputation or bone sticking through the skin
You think you have a serious injury
Injury looks like a broken bone or dislocated joint (crooked or deformed)
Can't move injured shoulder at all
Collar bone is painful or tender to touch
You think you need to be seen
Can't move injured shoulder normally (e.g., full range of motion, able to touch top of head)
There is a large swelling or bruise (wider than 2 inches) at the site of the injury
You are over age 54, have osteoporosis, or use steroid medications routinely
You have other questions or concerns
Injury interferes with work or school
Pain has not improved after 3 days
Injury is still painful or swollen after 2 weeks
Minor shoulder injury and you don't think you need to be seen
Treatment of a Bruise (e.g., direct blow to shoulder):
Apply a cold pack or an ice pack (wrapped in a moist towel) to the area with ice for 20 minutes each hour for 4 consecutive hours (i.e., 20 minutes of cooling followed by 40 minutes of rest for 4 hours in a row).
Rest the injured part as much as possible for 48 hours.
48 hours after the injury, use local heat for 10 minutes 3 times each day to help reabsorb the blood.
Treatment of Sprains and Strains:
FIRST AID - Apply an ice pack (crushed ice in a plastic bag covered with a moist towel) to reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain.
Continue to apply crushed ICE packs for 10-20 minutes every hour for the first 4 hours. Then apply ice for 10-20 minutes 4 times a day for the first 2 days.
REST the injured shoulder for 24 hours. You may return to normal activity after 24 hours of rest if the activity does not cause pain.
For pain relief, take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol):
Take 650 mg by mouth every 4-6 hours. Each Regular Strength Tylenol pill has 325 mg of acetaminophen.
Another choice is to take 1,000 mg every 8 hours. Each Extra Strength Tylenol pill has 500 mg of acetaminophen.
The most you should take each day is 3,000 mg.
Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil):
Take 400 mg by mouth every 6 hours.
Another choice is to take 600 mg by mouth every 8 hours.
Use the lowest amount that makes your pain feel better.
Naproxen (e.g., Aleve):
Take 250-500 mg by mouth every 12 hours.
Acetaminophen is thought to be safer than ibuprofen or naproxen in people over 65 years old. Acetaminophen is in many OTC and prescription medicines. It might be in more than one medicine that you are taking. You need to be careful and not take an overdose. An acetaminophen overdose can hurt the liver.
Caution: Do not take acetaminophen if you have liver disease.
Caution: Do not take ibuprofen or naproxen if you have stomach problems, kidney disease, are pregnant, or have been told by your doctor to avoid this type of medicine. Do not take ibuprofen or naproxen for more than 7 days without consulting your doctor.
Before taking any medicine, read all the instructions on the package
Expected Course: Pain and swelling usually begin to improve 2 or 3 days after an injury. Swelling is usually gone in 7 days. Pain may take 2 weeks to completely resolve.
Call Your Doctor If:
Pain becomes severe
Pain does not improve after 3 days
Pain or swelling lasts more than 2 weeks
You become worse
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