Depending on the severity of a sprained shoulder, it can take anywhere from one to four weeks to heal, according to Drugs.com. A Grade I sprain is the most minor and consists of mild, microscopic tears in the joint ligaments, while a Grade II sprain is characterized by partially torn ligaments. A Grade III sprain is the most serious where ligaments are completely torn and requires the longest healing time.
A sprained shoulder can include a tear to any of the many ligaments that connect the four bones of the arm, collarbone and breastbone, according to Drugs.com. A sprained shoulder creates symptoms that include swelling, tenderness and pain upon moving the arm or touching the joint. At a doctor's appointment, a physician will conduct a physical examination of the shoulder and use an X-ray or MRI to confirm a diagnosis and type of shoulder sprain. Grade I and Grade II sprains require icing, pain medication and the use of a sling to properly heal, while a Grade III shoulder sprain may require surgery to restore the full range of motion. After healing from a shoulder sprain, it is important to avoid contact sports, which create a high risk for re-injuring the shoulder.