tonight i was out at a local coffee shop where i often run into a friend of mine, an older guy who i did aikido with and who earns a living as a chiropractor.
he asked me how i was doing, and i mentioned that i had seperated my shoulder somewhat in judo three weeks ago, but that i hadn't been in to see a doctor and was just letting it heal on its own.
he asked if he could take a look, i said sure, and he ended up (painlessly) pushing my clavicle back into place. he told me i needed to make sure it stayed there for six more weeks, then it should be healed.
i mean, it feels better since he "fixed" it, but i'm not above the placebo effect or anything. i've been working out (jiu-jitsu and weightlifting) on it for about a week now, and although a little sore, it hasn't given me any serious pain or problems.
i had planned on maybe starting judo again this week, but that would be against his advice, i think. if anything fucks my shoulder up again, it would be judo.
anyway, just curious if you guys had an opinion: have any of you had your shoulder seperated? how did you treat it? did you see a chiropractor, an MD, or both?
the only other opinion i've gotten was from a fellow judo player who has had three shoulder seperations, and he opined that i had a "first degree" seperation and that it would heal no matter what i did. thoughts?
I threw out my lower back on Saturday night, and suffered all day sunday. I fixed it myself this morning before I could go see one, so neener neener Chiropractors, you can't have my money.
'Shoulder separation' is a pretty nebulous term, considering the shoulder's made up of four separate joints. Sounds like you've most likely had an acromio-clavicular joint strain - the notorious AC joint. Very common in contact sports.
If you run your fingers along your clavicle (collar bone) to the end (and slightly behind) where it drops off and that point is where your pain is, that's most likely the problem. Another classic test is to raise your arm to horizontal and then try to move it across your chest in a horizontal line. If this reproduces your pain, that's another good indicator.
They grade them from I-III or from I-V (depending on who you ask these days) but the important point is whether there is any instability in the ligament that connects your clavicle to the shoulder blade at the back (indicating a grade II or III). Generally you'll see what's called a 'step deformity' in this case, which can be more apparent if you place your hand on your opposite shoulder.
Treatment is almost always conservative - ie. rest, plus appropriate strengthening exercises. Amount of time depends on grade of injury but at least 2-3 weeks, ranging up to 6-8 for more serious. If it's more serious, you'd obviously need to immobilise it for a while with a brace or sling.
If there is instability, there's a chance that you'll end up with a chronic gap or separation of the joint but it's not quite as big a deal as you might think. You can actually strap it to train quite effectively. I'd say almost a majority of professional rugby players have at least one shoulder like this. They used to operate but the evidence suggests that you don't get any better outcomes.
Hard to say much more without seeing your shoulder except the caution that there's always the chance of associated damage to surrounding tendons and ligaments in any case of trauma.
Oh, and pushing it back into place is horseshit.
this is an awesomely helpful answer, thanks!
Originally Posted by bornsceptic
that's exactly where the pain is, right on the end of my clavicle. moving my horizontal arm across my chest causes pain as well, although almost none compared to the day the injury occured.
and after lots of squinting and posing in front of my mirror, my shoulders/clavicles/etc look pretty symmetrical, and i can't see anything obviously abnormal about the injured shoulder.
as for pushing it back into place and waiting six weeks... if that's horseshit, i think my body agrees with you. i gave it a good ten days off from any remotely dangerous activity, and it's held up well for over a week of training and lifting.
so, yeah, i'm not waiting six more weeks to play judo. **** that, i'll die of boredom. =P
Some chiropractors are good, some stink. I let one string me along for 6 months of treatment when I was a young foolish lad.
I currently go to All Star Health in Chandler AZ, they fix things in just a few visits. They also use a bunch of different methods. When I hurt my neck recently on each visit I had a chiropractic adjustment, a massage, and electro-stimulation therapy. Seemed to work.
I had totally forgotten about this thread. I've since been to a chriopractor twice. He supposedly "fixed me up" but was generally unhelpful with his adjustments. He did however advise I get some support braces for my wrists and wear them to sleep because he suspected I might be sleeping with an unnatural bend. Since taking his advice I've noticed I have far less morning pain although no improvements actually came of it aside from the fact. Real improvements only came with physical therapy. Granted chiros are really supposed to be back people.
The guy seemed genuinely nice and really wanted to help, even gave me the first appointment free and told me to keep up with the PT stuff. I feel like he felt he could do more, but I didn't have much faith in the guy beyond his kindness. I have a feeling a lot of chiros are tricked into thinking they can fix everything, similar to many BS peddlers.
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