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November 27, 2009


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I know exactly what you mean! People get so skittish just because I ask them to help reduce a shoulder! Really, what's so hard about holding an arm still while I wiggle around a bit until I feel the right place to let it go?


My preschooler is prone to elbow dislocations on her right arm. (I realize this isn't even remotely like what you deal with because she's a healthy little kid who unfortunately just happens to dislocate one of her elbows on a semi-regular basis.)

We always end up at the ER, even though by this point we're fairly confident that's what the problem is and there's not a broken bone involved. Her ped even says to go there instead of her office because if it IS a break someday, they're not set up to take care of that.

But you know what happens every single time we go to the ER? She goes for X-rays and when the guy is positioning her arm for the image, he resets her elbow. And just like you said happens with your kids, there's a scream when he does the move, and then by the time we're back in her little room at the ER, she's smiling and feeling fine and we're embarrassed once again to be there for something so minor.

We've been told we can re-set her elbow "if you're sure that's all that's going on." We're just never 100 percent sure and too wimpy to hurt her (even though it heals her).

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Have you taken Himself with to a doctor appointment so the MD can officially show him what to do? That might help his self-confidence a little ...

One Sick Mother


I know! But again, i think it comes down to the issue we have discussed before; the difference between living with something all your life and someone else getting a glimpse through a window.


I wouldn't mess with a preschooler's elbow. I feel there is a lot going on in an elbow; moreso than in (say) a hip. Also preschoolers are so little and I think most don't have the language skills to guide you through the process. I will fix my kids' (and they are older) small joints and hips, because those I am pretty comfortable with.

I would rather go to the ER and be embarrassed than take a chance on hurting someone.

One Sick Mother

(forgot to mention):
good idea on having Himself come to the doc to learn how to do it. Mind you the best doc for this would be the rheumy and she is the most squeamish doctor I have ever met!

Wacky Lisa

I have to smile.
I started my DH with helping with my hips. Mostly because I didn't have a choice. One day I ended up in some weird position where I couldn't reach my knee so I was forced to get help. Now he'll help with my fingers, toes, and wrists.
I have to say that my elbows aren't as bad as yours.
What are you asking Himself to do? Stabilize your upper arm or manipulate your lower arm?
I realize that if he only stabilizes your upper arm you may still have to fix your wrist once your elbow is back in place but that may be better than letting your elbow 'hurt wrong' until a doctor's appointment.
None of my doctors are any good at helping me with my joints.


I've got my roommate trained to perfection to help with any joints. She has 1 dodgy shoulder & has had me help re-seat that so I think it helps her have the understanding of just stay still. She's handy too for those joints that just need a whack; sometimes the outside of my knee needs a whack & I'm not able to get the right angle.

Just give a call when you need help & I'll send her over. ☺


I don't have EDS but I do have very lax joints that can get destabilized (I once dislocated my ankle badly enough that it had to be casted)--this may be OI related for me. My husband can get my toes/fingers back into place and sometimes my kids can get the fingers back in. Hip is increasingly difficult due to arthritis, and it drove me crazy once my SI joints started subluxing--I would hear an audible crack on each side and it would feel better once I had fixed it. Now I've lost the ability to do that through the ways that used to work (throwing a leg over an armchair rest at a specific height and pulling, reaching far forward in arabesque--now my hip is to out of whack to let me do that on either side--ie., causing damage kind of pain). What drives me nuts is that I usually can't pop the lower two or three vertebrae back into place on my own, but I get so much pain relief on the rare times when I can (as with the SI joints).

One Sick Mother


I was asking him to do both: hold the upper arm AND manipulate the lower. On reflection, this was a bad idea. He can hold the upper arm while I do the jiggling.

Queen Slug, You guys are moving to the East Coast, right? ;)

The SI joints slipping are the *worst* (especially because other stuff almost always follows). Those were the very first joints that started to slip out on me when I was about 20. The very worst thing about it is many doctors think that the *can't* slip; that they are fused. So you go for help and are called a liar or a drama queen; -despote the fact that the SI junction is comprised entirely of connective tissue, and i have a connective tissue disorder. But Nooooo...

OK end rant ;)


I'm with you on the SI joints--they absolutely move. When they won't move at all, I can't walk but can maybe hobble a little. They totally slip out of place. I think most doctors can't see why this would matter unless it happens to them--but all the nerves from the spinal cord branch out right at that exact point.


Oh yeah, that's another thing that confuses me--why do doctors think they're fused when their fusing shows up as an anomaly on x-rays with advanced spondylitis? But doctors think that they're fused normally. That's a weird bit of cognitive dissonance.

len cook

My son dislocates both kees and elbows quite often. I have learned to put them back fairly easy. There is an easer way that sometimes works if your interested.

I simply hold the elbow and straighten his arm down as gently as possible then raise it back up til it bends, his ususally slips right back in you can actually hear the pop.

One Sick Mother


Thanks for that tip. I used a technique like that on Graces arm once, and it worked. It didnt work on mine; -unless the trick is to have someone else do the bending (so that the muscles are more relaxed)?

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