Every injury is unique. The extent of the damage and area of the fracture necessitates a rehab program developed to treat your specific injury. Your physician and physical therapist will design an exercise program that treat your injury. Treatment plans also consider your individual state of your fitness and lifestyle during the rehabilitation.
The recovery exercises developed will help restore your collarbone to regain full range of motion and strength to return to your normal physical routine.
One of the most common sports injuries is a fractured clavicle, or fractured collarbone. Fractures occur from an impact to the shoulder or from a fall onto an outstretched arm. Fractures may be partial or complete, most often fractures require surgical repair and immobilization while they heal.
General recovery guidelines for a clavicle fracture during healing:
- No arm raising: Don’t raise the injured arm above 70 degrees in any direction for four weeks post-injury.
- No lifting: Do not lift more than 5 pounds with the fractured arm for six weeks post-injury.
- Use ice: Ice the injured shoulder for 15 minutes three times per day as needed to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Use a sling: Keep your injured arm in a sling for three to four weeks post-injury to help support the clavicle as it heals.
- Watch your body mechanics: While using a sling, it’s important to maintain proper bone and muscle alignment to avoid future problems. Try to focus on good shoulder position. Don’t shrug, slouch, or let your shoulders round while in the sling.
See your doctor: Keep your doctor’s appointments and see your physical therapist during your rehab. During your physical therapy recovery you may continue to experience pain, treat any discomfort with heat and ice to reduce pain and inflammation.
Joint mobilization exercises help restore mobility and range of motion. Strengthening exercises will help restore the muscle and bone strength lost during immobilization. Additionally your physical therapists my apply scar mobilization and massage techniques to restore muscles and tendons.
Restore a Broken Collarbone Range of Motion and Strength with these Standard Rehab Exercises
- Pendulum exercise: In this exercise, you bend forward at the waist and let your injured arm hang down toward the ground. Make small circles with your hand and let momentum move your arm around effortlessly. Try to make clockwise and counterclockwise circles.
- Grip strength exercise: Squeeze a small ball (a racquetball works well) with gentle but even pressure several times per day.
- Isometric triceps exercises: The triceps brachii is the muscle on the back of the upper arm primarily responsible for extending the elbow. Rest your injured arm on a table or countertop with your elbow at 90 degrees. Make a fist and press onto the tabletop with your entire forearm, from fist to elbow. Your arm will not move, but your triceps muscle will contract.
- Rotator cuff exercises: The muscles that make up the rotator cuff are often damaged or torn during shoulder injuries. Isometric internal and external rotation exercises are often prescribed to rebuild strength in the rotator cuff.
- Isometric shoulder exercises: You may also be instructed to do isometric shoulder exercises that include abduction, adduction, extension, and flexion, with your arm at your side.
Never return to routine physical activities until you have been cleared by your physician and physical therapist. Rehabilitation from a fracture takes time, to maintain overall fitness while recovering, opt for walking, stair climbing, or hands-free cycling. You may be anxious to return to playing sports, but it’s best to wait until you are cleared by your doctors.
To learn more about physical therapy and treatment plans for a broken or fractured clavicle, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today.
Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at www.moriartypt.com or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.