Separated Shoulder

We understand the discomfort and challenges associated with separated shoulder injuries. So let’s explore what a separated shoulder is, its symptoms, prevention strategies, and the various treatment options available. Our team of experienced healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing personalized care to help you recover fully and regain your quality of life.

What is a Separated Shoulder?

A separated shoulder, also known as acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation, occurs when the ligaments connecting the collarbone (clavicle) to the shoulder blade (acromion) become stretched or torn. This injury is often the result of a fall onto the shoulder or a direct blow to the shoulder, particularly common in contact sports or activities with high impact.

Mature man with shoulder pain at home

Separated Shoulder Symptoms

The symptoms of a separated shoulder may vary depending on the severity of the injury but commonly include:

  • Persistent pain at the top of the shoulder
  • Swelling, tenderness, and bruising around the AC joint
  • Limited range of motion, especially with overhead movements
  • A visible deformity or bump at the AC joint, indicating a displacement of the collarbone
  • Pain exacerbated by activities that involve lifting or reaching overhead

Can You Prevent a Separated Shoulder?

While some shoulder injuries are unavoidable, there are proactive measures you can take to reduce your risk of a separated shoulder:

  • Strengthening Exercises: Engage in regular strength training exercises that target the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, such as the deltoids, rotator cuff, and trapezius muscles. Stronger muscles provide better support and stability to the shoulder joint, reducing the likelihood of injury.
  • Proper Technique: Practice proper technique and form during sports or activities that involve shoulder movements, such as weightlifting, tennis, or overhead throwing sports. Avoid overexertion and maintain good body mechanics to minimize strain on the shoulder.
  • Protective Gear: Wear appropriate protective gear, such as shoulder pads or braces, during high-risk activities or contact sports to provide added support and cushioning to the shoulder joint.

Treatment for Separated Shoulders

At Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics, we offer a range of treatment options tailored to your specific needs and the severity of your injury. Treatment may include:

  • Rest and Immobilization: Initially, the injured shoulder may require rest and immobilization to allow the ligaments to heal properly. A sling or shoulder brace may be recommended to stabilize the joint and prevent further injury.
  • Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with a separated shoulder. Cold therapy is particularly effective when applied within the first 48 hours following injury.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter or prescription NSAIDs may be recommended to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with a separated shoulder. These medications can help improve comfort and facilitate the healing process.
  • Physical Therapy: Once the acute phase of healing has passed, physical therapy is often recommended to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to the shoulder joint. Rehabilitation exercises are designed to improve muscle tone, enhance joint stability, and prevent recurrent injuries.
  • Surgery for Severe Cases: In cases of severe AC joint separation or when conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical options may include AC joint reconstruction, ligament repair, or stabilization procedures to restore the anatomy and function of the shoulder joint.

Contact Us Today

Don’t let a separated shoulder sideline you from the activities you love. Contact Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment with our experienced orthopedic team. We’re dedicated to providing compassionate care and personalized treatment to help you recover from your shoulder injury and return to an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Whether you’re an athlete or someone who simply wants to regain full function of their shoulder, we’re here to help every step of the way. Our comprehensive approach to shoulder care ensures that you receive the highest quality treatment tailored to your individual needs. Reach out to us today and take the first step toward recovery.

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Carmichael Office

6620 Coyle Avenue,
Suite 202

Carmichael, CA 95608

Roseville Office

576 N Sunrise Avenue,
Suite 230

Roseville, CA 95661

Folsom Office

1580 Creekside Drive,
Suite 100 & 110

Folsom, CA 95630

Phone: 916-961-3434

Text: 279-800-4542

Fax: 916-961-0540

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm

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