Separated Shoulder
Russell Gunner, C.A.T. (C)

Definition: The ligaments in the shoulder (connection between the collarbone and the shoulder blade) are stretched or sprained due to an excessive force placed upon the area. This is different from a dislocated shoulder. A dislocated shoulder is when the humerus (arm bone) pops out of the shoulder socket.

Signs and Symptoms:
1. Pain localized to the top of the shoulder.
2. A feeling of popping or tearing inside the shoulder.
3. Extremely tender to touch.
4. Swelling around the area.
5. Decreased movement, especially when you try to raise your arms above your head.

Treatment:
1. P.I.E.R. for at least 48 hours. Icing every hour for 15 minutes over a wet towel.
2. Depending upon severity, the use of a sling would be recommended.
3. After 48 hours, exercises can begin to very gently improve range of motion and strength.
4. You should always consult your physician or therapist following an injury for further evaluation.

Basic Exercises:

Wall walks – Walk your fingers up the wall in front of you as far as you can.

Isometric Strength – Push you fist against the wall with a medium resistance. (you can also push forwards, sideways, and backwards as different exercises).