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Shoulder Separation (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

Like other problems with bones and joints, the first priority is to prevent further harm and ease the pain by immobilizing the joint and applying ice.

  • Shoulder slings are perfect for immobilization.
  • The application of ice helps decrease the swelling to the area. This decreases pain and expedites recovery.
    • An effective home ice pack can be made by filling a large storage-size plastic bag with crushed ice. Drop the closed bag into a pillowcase and apply directly to the top of the shoulder.
    • The ice pack should be removed when the skin is completely numb or if you sense a burning or pins-and-needles feeling. After allowing the skin to rewarm for 10-15 minutes, the ice may be reapplied.
    • Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes every hour, as often as can be tolerated.
    • Ice should be used for the first 48 hours of most shoulder separations.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) or similar medications can be given for pain and swelling.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2015

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