The clavicle fracture is a very painful and highly disabling injury. For this reason, we must do our best to prevent such injuries. Otherwise, we will be forced to do rehabilitation sessions for a long period of time. In this article we will talk about the collarbone and how we can prevent it from breaking.
The clavicle is a bone that runs horizontally from the breastbone to the front of the shoulder blade; we can feel it if we touch between the neck and the shoulder. Precisely because it is so superficial it is more susceptible to suffering from injuries.
The function of the clavicle is to give stability to the area of the bone system to which it belongs. It also helps stabilize arm movements. Injuries to this bone cause difficulty performing arm gestures or other gestures that somehow have to do with the upper bone system.
Fracture of the clavicle
A collarbone fracture occurs when its bony continuity is disrupted. As with any fracture, this discontinuity will cause inflammation, pain, and impotence in movement. In the case of the collarbone, as it helps guide arm movements, it will be very painful to perform any gesture that involves the shoulder muscles.
In the vast majority of cases, the cause of a collarbone fracture is a direct impact, that is, a fall or a blow. For this reason, these fractures are common in contact sports such as rugby or falls in winter sports such as skiing.
Aside from the pain, we suffer from a collarbone fracture if we notice the following symptoms:
- Inflammation of the affected area.
- Hematoma near the bone.
- A lump in the area of the injury due to the separation of the bone. If the injury is very severe, one extremity can even puncture the skin and be visible from the outside.
- The shoulder on the affected side will be lower and forward than the opposite side.
Can a collarbone fracture be prevented?
Since the mechanism of injury is usually caused by direct impact, it is difficult to prevent a clavicle fracture. However, these three tips are worth keeping in mind to limit the damage caused by the injury. Here they are:
Keep your muscles trained
While there are no muscles to cover and protect the collarbone, having strong arm and shoulder muscles can be of great help.
This is because if, before a fall, we support one or both hands, if that arm and shoulder are strong, there will be significant differences in the severity of the injury. On the other hand, if we practice agility and proprioception, we will be able to better prevent falls.
Learn to fall
This principle is supported by many professional athletes, precisely to prevent injuries when falling. Learning to fall safely is essential, especially when playing sports where a fall is the order of the day.
In basketball, handball or skiing, to name a few examples, learning the mechanisms of falling substantially limits the damage or, at the very least, reduces the severity of the injury.
Play sports responsibly and act with caution
The third tip is simple: you should always play sport responsibly. In fact, we will be much less likely to suffer from a broken collarbone if we ski on a track suitable for our level, even if we try to go faster than usual.
The same happens if we play rugby and are constantly colliding with our opponents by leveraging this bone, instead of positioning ourselves correctly. Technique is essential to prevent injuries of this type.
Avoiding a collarbone fracture is always better than treating it
We could therefore say that more than preventing a broken collarbone, it’s about avoiding it. Since it is a very superficial bone, it is very susceptible to direct blows, which can break it easily. Therefore, if we expose ourselves to situations where we can fall or slip frequently, the best thing to do is to be careful.
So it is essential to keep the muscles trained, to perform sports gestures in the right way, to learn to fall and not to exceed your abilities. Even if we suffer a fracture, with these measures, it is very likely that the recovery will be faster and more complete.
However, it will also take an initial period of rest, followed by a long period of physiotherapy, plus all the exercises and physical means to overcome the trauma and ensure its consolidation. In severe cases, surgery may be required, but we must do everything to avoid it.