A shoulder separation is not truly an injury to the shoulder joint. The injury actually involves the acromioclavicular joint (also called the AC joint). The AC joint is where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion). If the force is severe enough, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn. This causes the “separation” of the collarbone and wingbone. The wingbone actually moves downward from the weight of the arm.
Injury (most commonly, a fall directly onto the shoulder
Bump or bulge above the shoulder
Pain at the end of the collar bone
Pain when moving the shoulder, especially when trying to raise the arms above shoulder height
Application of ice