Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Most people enjoy a full recovery after conservative treatment. A minor separation may heal within a few weeks. A more severe separation may take several weeks to months to heal. You may always have a noticeable bump on the affected shoulder, but it shouldn't affect your ability to use that shoulder.

Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may help ease shoulder pain.

Therapy

  • Rest. Avoid activities that aggravate your shoulder pain, especially crossing the affected arm in front of your body. You might want to temporarily immobilize your arm in a sling to take pressure off your shoulder and promote healing.
  • Ice. Ice can reduce shoulder pain and swelling. Use a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help restore strength and motion in your shoulder.

Surgical and other procedures

If pain persists or if you have a severe separation, surgery might be an option. Surgery can reconnect torn ligaments and reposition or stabilize injured bones.

Jan. 23, 2014

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