Hemiplegic Shoulder Subluxation
June 04, 2021

As Hemiplegic Shoulder Subluxation is a complicated term, you must be curious to know how the shoulder affected by this is? It happens when a mechanical problem in your shoulder joint results in partial dislocation. Hence, subluxation is very common in people with hemiplegia, particularly during the flaccid stage. It usually occurs within 21 days after a stroke. 

What is Subluxation? 

You know that a well-functioning and robust shoulder required a proper system of interconnected parts, i.e., bones, muscles, ligaments, and joint capsules. So, even if one thing is damaged, the entire system is affected. 

Shoulder subluxation is defined by dislocating the humerus bone (upper side of the arm) from the shoulder socket. Subsequently, the shoulder blade adjusts to the adjacent muscles, modifying the normal condition of the area. It is a widely common post-stroke complication characterized by muscle weakness or spasticity that may lead to displacement. 

How Does Shoulder Subluxation Happen? 

Subluxation occurs due to the pressure of the flaccid arm that forces direct automatic stretch to the joint capsule and grip to the unsupportive shoulder muscles. Sometimes, improper posture, missing support of the upright position, and pull on the hemiplegic arm when shifting the patient, may also cause this. 

A stroke occurs when a specific part of the brain cannot relay messages to corresponding body parts. Hence, the stroke weakens the body parts. As the shoulder is a complicated and balanced system featuring joints, tendons, and bones, it may be affected. If the shoulder system is disrupted in case of a stroke, it may cause a series of complications in the upper body. 

During the therapy process, stroke survivors usually experience shoulder problems that may include stiffness, spasticity, floppiness, or pain. Hence, it is imperative to get your shoulder examined by a specialist if these problems occur during the recovery phase of the stroke. It will help choose the best course of treatment. 

How Doctors Treat Shoulder Subluxation? 

If you want to prevent subluxation, you need to choose a position that keeps your arm and shoulder adequately supported. It will help protect your joint from any damage due to the gravitational pull that may stress the ligaments. Or else the chance of subluxation increases. 

Shoulder subluxation slings are highly effective in treating this condition. It is a significant part of the comprehensive treatment regime that helps support the arm and diminish pain. However, experts do not recommend sling alone for remarkable results. 

If you have survived from stroke, you may successfully treat subluxation through electrical stimulation that transmits electrical impulses to the weak muscles. Hence, it stimulates a reduction causing the humerus to move in the upward direction. You may enjoy relief from pain, improved circulation, diminished swelling, and better overall functioning. 

What is a GivMohr Sling? 

GivMohr Sling is a dynamic placement device that helps reduce subluxation and supports the limp during a functioning position. Hence, it helps you efficiently perform daily activities like standing and ambulation. This device is perfect for neural diagnoses that may include: 

  • Stroke 
  • ALS
  • Traumatic Brain Damage 
  • Brachial Plexis Damage
  • Post-Polio Condition
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Central Cord Disorder

What are the benefits of GivMohr Sling? 

This device has many benefits that include: 

  • Decreased shoulder subluxation 
  • Relief from Shoulder Pain 
  • Improves Balance 
  • Act as support during functional positions 
  • Enhances Step 
  • Shields Flaccid Arm and Shoulder 
  • Enables Controlled Arm Swing 
  • Helps perform daily activities 
  • Easy to use 

You can visit Premier Pain Centre for expert consultation. 

What Shoulder Exercises to Follow During Recovery Phase of Stroke? 

While the experts have designed special assistive devices to help the stroke survivors recover faster, they can also follow some easy rehab shoulder exercises at home to help their condition. 

Basic Exercises 

Towel Slide 

  • You need to spread a towel on a surface and place the affected arm flat on it. 
  • Then you should place your unaffected hand directly on top of it. 
  • Use your healthy arm to push the bottommost hand and the towel away from you crossways the table. Your body will certainly take a position that safely bounces the shoulder. 
  • Then you need to continue moving forward as much as you can unless you don’t feel pain. Try to increase the distance every time you perform. 

Shoulder Motion

  • Take a mirror that may show at least the top half of your body. 
  • Then lift your healthy shoulder to the sideways of the head in a sluggish motion. 
  • After attaining this raised position, gradually roll your shoulder backward, moving the two shoulders close. 
  • Repeat this action a handful of times every day as it will help realign your shoulder blades. 

Intermediate-Level Shoulder Workouts 

Towel Slide 

  • It is similar to the essential towel slide exercise. You need to spread the towel on a surface and place your damaged hand under the healthy one. 
  • Then you will have to move the arm forward. Remember to use this position to discover a side-to-side motion. The target is to work up to make a circular, forward ultimately, and side-to-side motion possible. 

Outward Rotation 

  • Take a lightweight cane or umbrella, hold it in front of you using both hands and curve the arms at a 90 degrees angle by the elbows. 
  • Start by shifting the cane out to one side, and keep your forearms in a straight position without allowing them to fail. 
  • Then shift to the contrary side and repeat as required. 

Advanced Shoulder Workouts 

Pass Cup from Behind the Neck 

  • Pile many cups in front of you. 
  • Emphasize your vision straight, not on the cups, then carefully pick one top cup and pass it behind your neck. Please make use of the opposite hand to collect the cup and put it back on the table. 
  • Repeat this exercise until the pile is complete. 

Pass Cup from Behind the Waist 

  • It is similar to behind the neck cup passing activity. Again, pile up the cups in front of you. 
  • Then pass every cup from hand to hand from behind the waist. 
  • This workout helps strengthen arm muscles and improve your range of motion. 
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