Acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular separation can be caused by a direct blow to the shoulder or sternum, by a fall onto the shoulder or onto an outstretched hand, or by impact to the shoulder caused by another athlete landing on top of it.
Separation of the acromioclavicular joint ligaments usually happens during collision sports such as football and hockey; throwing sports such as javelin, hammer, and shotput; or during any training exercises that are designed to improve upper extremity strength. The athlete experiences pain, tenderness, and swelling at the acromioclavicular joint and pain or discomfort when the acromioclavicu-lar joint is stretched during cross-body adduction (turning the injured arm medially). There may be palpable or observable joint deformity.
Sternoclavicular separation occurs when the sternoclavicular ligament is torn, which may happen when the shoulder forcefully strikes the ground or when another athlete lands upon it; when there is a direct blow to the shoulder; or when the person falls on an outstretched arm. The separation can happen in front of or behind the sternum. The symptoms are pain, tenderness, swelling at the joint, and possible displacement of the clavicle in front of or behind the sternum.
Dry needling acupuncture treatment is very effective in reducing pain, swelling and tenderness immediately after the injury and during all phases of healing and rehabilitation. Two or three needles should be inserted into the swollen ligaments and surrounding tissues. There should be one session every day for swelling and two sessions per week for pain.
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