(Last Updated On: )

Overview

  • The AC joint is where the acromion (a part of the shoulder blade) connects to the clavicle (collar bone) at the top of the shoulder.
  • This joint helps maintain the position of the shoulder and is very important for shoulder control, motion, and strength.
  • The joint is stabilized by a capsule and ligaments, and injury occurs when these structures are damaged.
  • When the capsule and ligaments are injured, the joint can become unstable and painful, and shoulder function can be affected. This type of injury is referred to as an “AC joint sprain” or a “separatiown.”
  • These injuries typically occur after a sudden fall onto the shoulder.
  • The AC joint is also a common place that arthritis develops, which can become painful. This is usually the result of years of degeneration or “wear and tear” of the joint and is common in weight lifters and laborers.

Symptoms/Signs

  • Pain over the AC joint at the top of the shoulder
  • A noticeable bump
  • Swelling
  • Shoulder tightness and loss of motion
  • Pain when lifting the arm up to the side or across the front of the body

When to see a doctor

  • If you sustain a fall onto the shoulder and have pain and decreased motion, you should see a doctor.
  • This is also true if you notice a bump or swelling over the AC joint at the top of the shoulder.
  • If you have ongoing pain in this area that doesn’t improve with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication, it should be evaluated.

Causes

Sudden AC joint injuries (“sprains” or “separations”) typically occur by one of the following ways:

  • A fall onto the shoulder
  • Lifting weights or heaving objects

Alternatively, AC joint arthritis typically occurs slowly over time as a result of overuse.

Risk Factors

There are a number of factors that increase your risk of an AC joint injury, including:

  • Participating in contact sports
  • Participating in activities that place you at risk for falling (skiing, mountain biking, ice skating, etc.)
  • Weightlifting
  • Working in physically demanding jobs

Treatment

Our expert providers are experienced and skilled at treating acromioclavicular joint injuries and are your source for expert treatment of AC joint injuries in Westminster and Denver Colorado. Not only are we the premier treatment for spine injuries and chiropractic in Westminster and Denver Colorado, but we also specialize in many other advanced treatment techniques such as shockwave, cold laser, graston technique, KT Taping, activator, instrument aided spinal alignments, drop table, toggle, in house rehab services, and on site digital xrays. We are your Premier destination for AC joint injury treatment in Westminster Colorado and Denver Colorado Chiropractor.

Recommended Posts