Understanding Muscle Dislocation – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Are you suffering from the excruciating pain of a muscle dislocation? Attempting to push or reposition the dislocated muscle on your own can make the problem even worse.

In this article, we take you through what exactly is muscle dislocation, its causes, the treatment available, and things to keep in mind.

What Is A Dislocation?

A dislocation in simple terms is a joint injury. To explain, dislocation happens when the bones in one of your joints are pushed or knocked out of their usual location. A joint is the meeting place of two bones in your body. There are hundreds of joints all over your body and dislocation may occur to any of them. Dislocation may strain or tear the tissues surrounding your joints such as muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels.

Treatments of muscle dislocation

What Causes A Dislocation?

Dislocations generally take place when your joint goes through an unexpected or unbalanced impact. This may happen when you fall or face a harsh hit to the affected area.

Some of the common causes of dislocations are:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls 
  • Sports Injuries 

Once a joint dislocates, there are higher chances that a dislocation may happen again.

Symptoms Of Dislocation

When a dislocation happens, you may experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Pain
  • The joint appears quite different or out of place
  • Not able to move or use your joint
  • A feeling of instability or that the joint is weaker than normal.

How Is A Dislocation Diagnosed?

When a dislocation happens, you may not be able to determine whether a bone has been broken or a dislocation has happened. Thus, rush to an emergency room in such situations.

As the first step, the doctor will examine the affected area. Tell the doctor about the symptoms you are feeling and what led to the injury. Subsequently, your doctor may ask you to undergo some of the following imaging tests to diagnose damage inside your body.

  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Ultrasound

Related Topic: How To Treat Pulled Calf Muscle? Unveiling Preventive Methods

Treatment For Dislocation

Depending on the severity of the dislocation, the treatment may also differ. The initial treatment for any dislocation involves RICE. It is the abbreviation for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This treatment works out effectively for some patients and the dislocated joint goes back into place automatically.

In cases where the above treatment does not prove to be effective, doctors may try out one of the following treatments.

  • Manipulation or repositioning
  • Immobilization
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation

1. Manipulation or repositioning

This involves your doctor manipulating or repositioning the joint back into place. Here, a sedative or anesthetic will be given to you so that it helps the muscles near the joint to relax. 

2. Immobilization

Once your joint returns to its original location, the doctor may recommend wearing a sling, splint, or cast for several weeks. This is done to restrict the joint from moving and also help the area to fully heal. 

3. Medication

Once the joint is back to its earlier location, most of your pain should go away. In case, you still feel the pain, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever or a muscle relaxant.

4. Surgery

You have to undergo surgery if the dislocation has caused damage to your nerves or blood vessels, or if your doctor fails to return your bones to their earlier position. The other scenario where surgery is necessary is for those who often dislocate the same joints, such as their shoulders. To prevent redislocation, reconstructing the joint and repairing any damaged structures may be required. There are certain scenarios where it may be necessary to replace a joint.

5. Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation starts once your doctor properly repositions or manipulates the joint into its original position and removes the sling or splint (in case you were recommended one). You and your doctor will come up with a rehabilitation plan that best suits you. The objective of rehabilitation is to gradually enhance the strength of the joint and bring back its range of motion.

Read More: How To Stop Muscle Cramps Fast? 6 Best Remedies For Muscle Cramps


Hope now you are well informed about muscle dislocation, its causes, and treatment. However, unless and until your recovery is complete, it is important to go slowly as the risk of reinjuring yourself is always there.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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