A separated shoulder can cause a lot of pain and discomfort to the person experiencing it. Read on to know the causes, symptoms and treatments for the same.
To understand a separated shoulder, we need to first of all know about acromioclavicular joint. An acromioclavicular joint is where the top end of the shoulder blades meet with the end of the collarbone. A separated shoulder is caused, when there is a tear in the ligaments of this joint. Below are the causes, symptoms and treatments for the same.
A separated shoulder is caused when there has been a physical blow to the shoulder or if a person has fallen shoulder down, resulting in tearing or stretching of the ligaments that keep the acromioclavicular joint stable. When the ligaments tear, the bones of the shoulder get separated, resulting in a bump at the shoulder top. Athletes, who are involved in sports, such as hockey, football, volleyball and gymnastics, are more prone than regular people, to get the shoulder separated.
A person experiences a number of signs and symptoms, so identifying a separated shoulder becomes quite easy.
- Shoulder pain and tenderness.
- A weakness in the arms as well as shoulders.
- The shoulder movement of the person might get restricted.
- A bump is seen at the top of the shoulder.
A separated shoulder is identified by a doctor through a physical examination. Sometimes, X-rays of the shoulder are also done, to confirm the occurrence of the injury and to find the extent to which the shoulder is separated.
Doctors suggest rest, application of ice packs, intake of over the counter pain relief medication and certain rehab exercises. With this conservative treatment majority of the people get fully recovered. The recovery time completely depends upon the extent of the tear in the joint and the resultant shoulder separation caused by it. An extremely severe shoulder separation might take months to heal, at the same time, a minor shoulder separation may take only a few weeks to heal. There are certain remedies that a person can follow, which will help him recover faster.
- Activities that increase the shoulder pain, such as contact sports, should be avoided.
- Doing some simple exercises, which help in stretching and moving the shoulder, will be helpful too.
- Putting on the special protection pads, which are designed to support the shoulders of athletes, should be used, till the shoulder is fully healed.
- Application of ice packs helps in reducing the pain and the inflammation. This should be done every six hours, for a few days, till the shoulder pain and swelling reduces considerably.
Separated shoulder, in most cases gets healed with the above mentioned treatment and remedies. However, if the pain continues, and the separation is very severe, doctors might suggest a surgery. The surgery helps in stabilizing the acromioclavicular joint, and re-establishes the normal bone structure in the shoulder.
Though it is not a very serious problem it can be avoided in most of the cases, if a person is a little careful and takes certain precautions. Athletes can avoid a separated shoulder by wearing a proper protective shoulder gear. Another way to prevent this is by strengthening one’s shoulder muscles, bones and structure by exercising on a regular basis.