This condition often gets mixed up with that of a dislocated shoulder. Separated shoulder is when the ligaments which attach and hold your collar bone to that flat bony plate on the top of your shoulder (acromion) tear. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on your collar bone when you use your shoulder. Most of the time, this pressure is directed upward on your collar bone, so these massive ligaments which tear, are positioned below it. Since the job for these ligaments is to hold your collar bone down, when they tear, your collar bone will rise upward or actually rotate tipping completely sideways. This tipping sideways is why you see that large bump on the top of your shoulder.


As just mentioned above, you will see a large bump on the top of your shoulder, and you will have pain. Below is a list of other symptoms you will experience.

  • Bump on the top of your shoulder.
  • Pain throughout the entire shoulder shortly after the injury occurs.
  • Severe pain when you try to move your arm upward, and particularly when you try to move your shoulder forward, backward and in a rotation.
  • Swelling in the front aspect of your shoulder and chest.
  • Swelling possibly on the back of the collar bone at the shoulder.
  • Numbness into your elbow and possibly your fingers as well.

What Treatments Consist Of:

A lot of the muscles and tendons which attach to your shoulder will have been over-stretched, have developed some micro-tearing and will go into a guarding posture.

The ligaments which are located on the top and underneath your collarbone will have been stretched and torn as well.

Your collar bone will be separated away from the flat bony plate that makes up your shoulder. A gap will be present and your collar bone will be rotated upward causing a lump to bulge upward on the skin.

Shockwave treatments will begin to take the pain away from the muscles which have been over-stretch and developed micro tearing. It will also diminish any inflammation in the region and move any cellular debris out of the region. Fresh blood will be drawn into the region.

Deep tissue therapeutic massage therapy techniques will be employed to address the muscles of your chest, back, and arm.

If your shoulder is not already in a brace or taped, depending on how recent your injury is, you will have your shoulder immobilized. If a dislocation is not handled properly during therapy, you will suffer permanent damage to the ligaments and joint of your acromioclavicular (collar bone – shoulder) joint.

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