Both surgical and non – surgical options are available for treating separated shoulder. Here is some information about the same.
Shoulder joint, one of the most used joints of our body, is formed from three bones namely, the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the arm bone (humerus). The point where collarbone (clavicle) joins the shoulder blade (scapula) is called acromioclavicular or commonly known as AC joint. Separated shoulder injury occurs when there is a tearing of ligaments, causing slipping of clavicle and detaching it from scapula. Separated shoulder treatment is recommended for separated shoulder injuries that can occur due to accidents or over stretching of shoulder joint. The separated shoulder recovery time is dependent on the severity of the injury. Some treatment options may take months to heal while some injuries require few days or weeks to recover.
An Overview of the Separated Shoulder Treatment Process
The treatment for separated shoulder depends on the type of injury (I, II, III or IV) and location of the complication. Depending on the severity of the injury, an ideal treatment plan, mostly non-surgical and rarely surgical is suggested by the doctor. We’ll look at both types of treatment options so that we can choose either of them, depending on our comfort level.
Non – Surgical Treatment
In non-surgical treatment, variety of methods are used to stop inflammation and pains of the joint. The initial treatment plan is generally aimed to make the injury less intense. Here are some steps taken to heal the injury.
A very basic treatment procedure in the first few days, in which ice packs are placed on the joint after every 4 or 5 hours, for at least 15 minutes, per session.
It is very important to give adequate rest to the joint, otherwise, healing won’t be possible properly. Many people wear sling to rest the joint which is certainly a good step to take.
Many anti-inflammatory or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) medicines are available in the market that aim to minimize shoulder pain and swelling. It is advisable to seek medical permission before taking these medicines.
Exercises to Heal Faster
One of the main aspects of the treatment of separated shoulder is rehabilitation exercises, designed especially for this condition. While alternative exercises like jogging, slow running, stationary bicycle and swimming must only be done, if pain permits, there are some other forms of exercises that aim to strengthen the injured joints. Don’t practice any exercise, if you don’t feel comfortable. Use your fair sense of judgment and try to understand if your injury is healing. Seek physiotherapy as it is always great to practice under experts.
- Stretching Overhead: With the arm on your side, lie on your back. Gradually, lift your one hand, up and over the head. Discontinue if you feel pain, that is making you uncomfortable. As your hand is raised, hold the elbow with your other hand, trying to stretch the raised hand. You must feel the stretching of the other hand.
- Cross-Body Reach: This is a simple exercise in which you have to stand, lifting your one hand in front of your body. You have to keep the lifted arm in front and across the body. As the arm will pass in front of your body, pull the elbow with the other hand, gently, to stretch it.
- Shrugs: Without holding any weight, stand with your hands on your sides. Raise your shoulder to the height when you start feeling the pain. Hold it there for five to six seconds. Relax and try to perform this sequence for at least 10 times, 3 times daily.
There are other forms of shoulder therapy exercises that you can know by consulting your doctor.
It is a fact that surgery is not needed for type I and type II separated shoulder treatments. Mostly, Type IV, V and VI, require surgery but these injuries are very rare and uncommon. The main conflict between orthopedic doctors is if surgery is essential for type III injuries. Since surgeries come with lots of potential risks, there is a general confusion about its effectiveness.
Quite often, people get confused with ‘dislocated shoulder’ and ‘separated shoulder’ injuries. ‘Shoulder dislocation’ and ‘shoulder separation’ are entirely different injuries. Don’t confuse dislocated shoulder treatment to be same as that of separated shoulder treatment. Most of the time, dislocated shoulder occurs when head of the humerus is removed from its socket due to accidents. In separated shoulder, there is only tearing of ligaments in the shoulder joint. It is recommended to take help of an expert doctor. Athletes and professional players generally experience separated shoulder problems due to injuries from intense physical activity.