First aid for shoulder injuries after a fall

The bodily injuries on the upper extremity are considered 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 is comprised of three bones – scapula, clavicle and humerus. As one of the most movable joints in the body, it is the site for many injuries such as sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures and torn rotator cuffs. During falls, shoulders are 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, it is important to provide first aid within 24 hours after the injury was sustained to prevent nerve complications that can affect the entire upper body. Even though these first aid measures could not completely deal with other conditions such as rotator cuff tendinitis, it can be used on simple injuries that resulted to nerve impingement.

Application of ice

shoulder injuries

Cold packs or ice is applied on the affected shoulder to minimize pain and swelling.

Right after the injury to the shoulder is sustained from a fall, it is vital to apply ice to the affected shoulder in order to minimize the swelling as well as prevent the rush of blood flow to the extremity. By diminishing the swelling in the nerves, the synovial fluid in the shoulder joint is kept at a normal balance and to help decrease the stiffness in the shoulder. If ice is not applied, the swelling will lead to a stiff shoulder. Take note that the stiffness can put pressure on the nerves and results to pain that radiates to the neck and down 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. Take note that these medications will not only diminish the swelling, but can also control the pain and allow the individual to move the arm as well as preventing stiffness from developing.

Always bear in mind that any shoulder injuries from a fall must be properly evaluated by a doctor to ensure that there is no ligament or bone that is damaged. If there are damaged tissues and bone, it would surely require advanced medical care. In most cases, individuals typically recover from a shoulder injury as long as the simple first aid measures are delivered right away after the incident.