First aid for shoulder injuries after a fall

The bodily injuries on the upper extremity are the most painful and debilitating. If a shoulder injury is incurred after a fall, pain often radiates not only within the shoulder but also to the neck and down to the hands and fingers. If an individual sustained a shoulder injury after a fall, it is important to provide the appropriate first aid measures to prevent further injury.

Always bear in mind that the shoulder joint has 3 bones – scapula, clavicle and humerus. As a movable joint in the body, it is the site for injuries such as sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures. During falls, the joint is prone to fractures and dislocations. The extent of the damage depends on how the individual fell and other contributing factors such as the surface.

What you need to know about shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries that result to pain in the neck as well as the arms, hands and fingers are due to the impingement of the nerves after a fall. Due to this, provide first aid within 24 hours after the injury. This aims to prevent nerve complications that can affect the entire upper body. Even though these measures could not deal with other conditions, it is suitable for simple injuries involving nerve impingement.

Application of ice

shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries that result to pain in the neck as well as the arms, hands and fingers are due to the impingement of the nerves after a fall.

Right sustaining the injury from a fall, apply ice on the shoulder to minimize the swelling and  prevent the rush of blood flow. By diminishing the swelling in the nerves, the synovial fluid in the shoulder joint is in a normal balance. If unable to use an ice pack, the swelling will lead to stiffness. The stiffness puts pressure on the nerves and results to pain that radiates to the neck and to the arms.

Anti-inflammatory medications

Aside from the cold packs that are applied right after the injury, you can also provide anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to minimize the swelling. The medications will not only diminish the swelling, but can also control the pain. In addition, it allows the individual to move the arm as well as preventing stiffness.

Always bear in mind that any injuries from a fall require proper assessment by a doctor to ensure that there is no damage to the ligament or bone. If there is damage to the tissues and bone, it would require further medical care. In most cases, individuals recover from the injury as long as providing simple first aid measures right after the incident.

FACT CHECK

For more information on this topic, visit:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/common-shoulder-injuries

https://medlineplus.gov/shoulderinjuriesanddisorders.html

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/why-does-my-shoulder-hurt#1

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