How I Almost Dislocated My Shoulder; What Saved It

Abhinav Thakur
4 min readJul 22, 2018

Cringe-worthy post

This week has been a roller coaster to say the least. I was all pumped up for the CrossFit session on Tuesday. My SO said she didn’t feel like going and that I should stay home with her. I coaxed her into going with me.

The workout seemed easy enough and we were coasting. Then came the WOD and I had a thought; I could rX this workout. It was —

3 rounds of

I thought it looked easy enough. I just had to take it easy with the kettle bell step ups and focus on my strengths like rowing. The objective was to get the maximum repetitions (calories for rowing and reps for everything else) within 12 minutes. Easy enough right?

On the third round which was the ultimate round, the evil wheel took me out. I pushed my way through and before I could pull back I heard it pop. I instantly knew that my left shoulder was out of its socket. I could see it and it looked funny. Strangely it didn’t hurt at all. I just could not move my left arm at all.

The trainer’s reaction was a little underwhelming. It seemed like he didn’t know what to do. So he just had me sit on the side while the others continued working and my SO was freaking out. She made a dash to get help.

My brain was going through all the possibilities of what was going to happen next. They ranged between popping it back in and surgery. Fortunately and painfully, as soon as my SO walked back in to the room, the shoulder decided it had had a fun outing and went right back in the socket. Just like that I had gained my range of motion. I rolled my shoulder in all directions to ensure I had complete range of motion. It didn’t hurt a lot and I was thinking that maybe I got lucky.

We called the fire department to have a look at it and reached home. They came in and looked at it. Now the shoulder started hurting like hell. I almost passed out from the dehydration and the pain. They did their due diligence; blood pressure, blood sugar and pulse etc. They said that the shoulder looked just fine and in its place. They offered to drive us into emergency and get an x-ray/MRI done. I decided that I would wait.

That night I couldn’t sleep. The moment it happened was flashing in my mind like a stuck VHS recorder. I cringed all night thinking about how it happened. The ghoulish wind and thunderstorm didn’t help. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t find a position where my shoulder was comfortable and didn’t hurt (I refuse to take pain medication if the pain’s manageable).

On Wednesday; the day after, my SO drove me to the clinic and the doctor took a look at me. She tested for strength and range of motion. She looked for signs of inflammation and said there was little if any. She said I looked fine and should get an x-ray done just in case. We got the x-ray done and they told us that there were no signs of dislocation, separation or fracture. The X-ray was negative which was great.

I did a little reading of my own because this incident freaked me out. I am guessing by the nature of my injury that it was not a dislocation; and I could be wrong (in which case I may need more medical help). However, according to the internet (you should have seen this coming), if the shoulder pops back in on its own, it might be a subluxation instead.

Today is Sunday the 22nd of July and I am doing much better now. I’ve been resting most of the time. Trying to do small things here and there to get back into the rhythm of things. I’ve been icing and stretching and feel great.

What Saved My Shoulder

For the last year or so, I’ve been practicing movements like the headstand, the handstand, handstand push ups and recently front lever variations and planche variations. I think these strength movements and holds came to my rescue. I think my shoulder had gained a lot of strength over the course of the last year of headstands, handstands and handstand push ups. Not to mention all the pull ups that I had been doing every day. I think all this gave it strength and I escaped a fateful injury.

It will take some time for me to get back to working out but it shouldn’t be that long. A lot of the trauma affected the neighboring muscles like the triceps and the lats. For a while I wasn’t able to move in certain ways because those muscle would hurt to move. That feeling is slowly going away as my shoulder recovers from the rough outing it got subjected to. I am probably not going to try doing evil wheel again because I am extremely scared of that movement now. Will I get back to CrossFit? We’ll see; all in due time.