Shoulder Separation

shoulder separationA shoulder separation is a complete or partial separation of the two parts of the shoulder camera: the end of the shoulder blade (acromion) and the collarbone (clavicle). The shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone are connected by the AC (acromioclavicular) joint, which is primarily held together by the coracoclavicular (CC) and the acromioclavicular (AC) ligaments. In a shoulder separation, those ligaments are completely or partially torn. A direct fall onto the shouler is the most common cause of the separation of the AC joint.

These are the 4 types of disruptions to the soft tissue, and which may cause a separation of the shoulder:

  • After it has been avulsed from its periosteum, there may be the upward movement of the lateral clavicle
  • The trapezoid and conoid ligaments may be torn at any location
  • The conoid-trapezoid ligament’s origin may avulse from the coracoid
  • There may be the tearing of the acromioclavicular ligaments

How to Treat Shoulder Separation

Here are some exercises you can do to recover from the injury. First you want to do rotator cuff exercises since the rotator cuff is the part of your shoulder where the muscles and tendons work to stabilize the movement of your shoulder. To do a side rotator lift, you want to lie on your side and then after you do this you would let your arm droop past your navel. Once you do this you would lift your arm to the ceiling and back down to your navel about five to ten times. You can also do dumbbell exercises by standing with a pair of dumbbells and then move your arms outwards with dumbbells in both hands and back inwards about ten to fifteen times.

Immobilization of Separated Shoulder with a Sling

Your doctor may immobilize your shoulder after a shoulder separation to keep your shoulder rested for improvement. When you wear the sling on your injured shoulder, you want to avoid using this shoulder to do strenuous activities. When you go to bed at night it is important that you not sleep on the injured shoulder.

Shoulder Surgery Is Not Always Necessary

Although it is painful and uncomfortable when the injury occurs, shoulder surgery can be avoided if you take the necessary initial steps to heal from the injury. One thing you must do is rest your separated shoulder immediately. You can take anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain of the separation. You should also visit a physical therapist and enroll in a few sessions so that you can do exercises that will heal your shoulder naturally.

Common Boxing Shoulder Injuries

Like most athletes, boxers also experience various shoulder injuries and this includes shoulder separation. A boxer may have to deal with rotator cuff tears resulting from constant throwing and punching in the ring, which puts excess stress on the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. He may also experience rotator cuff impingement and this leads to pain and discomfort in his muscles and tendons.

Ways to Prevent This Injury

If you want to prevent shoulder injuries, you should avoid constant strenuous activities without taking periodic breaks because this injures your shoulder. Another thing you want to do is rest your shoulders during the day and take pain relievers if arthritis causes shoulder tension and pain. Learn how to properly lift and carry heavy things and to practice safety if you are an athlete.


Shoulder injuries can be prevented with proper care of your shoulders during the day and you also want to take a break from sports activities if your shoulders are becoming stiff and tense. To avoid costly shoulder surgery if you have no health insurance, do shoulder exercises by yourself or with a physical therapist so your shoulders will improve.