Football is a dangerous sport and injuries are plentiful. In early November, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers suffered a collarbone fracture. The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, behaves as a strut for the shoulder that allows the arm to move freely.
Collarbone fractures usually occur via significant impact as often happens in football. Rodgers landed on his left shoulder as he was tackled during the game’s opening series.
Symptoms of a broken collarbone include swelling and bruising around the shoulder, acute collarbone and/or shoulder pain, difficulty moving or raising the arm and numbness or tingling down the arm. The injury is diagnosed with an x-ray, or in more severe cases, a CT scan or an MRI.
Most collarbone injuries heal on their own without the aid of surgery. However, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to re-align the bone and hold it in position. Fractures or breaks not requiring surgery will generally heal in about 12 weeks. Treatment includes rest, pain relievers, arm immobilization with a sling and physical therapy. Pain generally subsides within a couple of weeks after the injury.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of physical therapy after a collarbone injury. Physical therapists will assist in improving the range of motion within the shoulder. Post injury, the shoulder muscles weaken and strength training is necessary to restore stability and strength.
If surgery is necessary, a physical therapist may perform scar mobilization and massage techniques.
Return to exercise and movement is key to a complete recovery. A physical therapist will design a progressive corrective exercise program to do with the therapist and later, a regimen to be completed at home.
In late December, Rodgers was cleared to play. In his first game back after nearly two months off, he threw a 48 yard touchdown with 38 seconds left on the clock. The Green Bay Packers took the game with a score of 33-28.
For more information about how hands-on physical therapy can help you, contact our office, Cross Bay Physical Therapy today to schedule your initial evaluation. Our state of the art facility is located in Howard Beach, NY on Cross Bay Boulevard minutes from the belt parkway and easily accessible from public transportation. We are proud to provide quality physical therapy to the southern Queens and Brooklyn communities surrounding Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Jamaica, Rockaway Beach and Broad Channel.
By Benjamin Bieber