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A Look at a Common Source of Shoulder Pain – Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

January 31, 2024
A Look at a Common Source of Shoulder Pain – Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Your shoulder’s acromioclavicular joint, also known as the AC joint, is an essential component. It is the junction of your clavicle, or collarbone, and the acromion, or highest point, of your shoulder blade. Even though the AC joint is tiny, problems with it can cause severe shoulder pain and discomfort. We’ll talk about acromioclavicular joint pain in this blog, including its causes, signs, and treatments.

Understanding Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Acute injury or long-term degeneration are two common causes of pain in the AC joints. A sprain or even a dislocation of the AC joint can result from an acute injury, such as a fall straight on the shoulder, and produce excruciating agony. On the other side, osteoarthritis of the AC joint results from persistent degeneration, which is frequently brought on by aging-related wear and tear or misuse.

Shoulder Pain Treatment

Recognising Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Identifying AC joint pain can be somewhat tricky as it can mimic other types of shoulder pain. However, some distinct signs can help determine whether your pain is stemming from the AC joint.

  • Specifically, pain at the shoulder’s crest, where the collarbone and shoulder blade connect.
  • Lifting objects is difficult, especially when done above the shoulders.
  • The top of the shoulder had a visible hump.
  • Pain that is worsened when laying on the affected side.

It’s critical to seek expert advice if these symptoms continue in order to have a precise diagnosis.

Managing Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Depending on the severity of the problem, managing AC joint discomfort can range from self-care approaches to medical procedures.

  • Rest and Ice: It’s important to take a break from activities that make your shoulder hurt. Ice application can also assist to lessen pain and inflammation.
  • Painkillers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and over-the-counter painkillers can help control pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist can give you a set of exercises that are designed to improve stability, restore mobility, and strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: To treat chronic pain and inflammation, your doctor may advise administering a corticosteroid injection into the AC joint.
  • Surgery: In severe cases where non-surgical treatments do not provide relief, surgery might be necessary to repair or resurface the damaged joint.

    Shoulder Pain Physiotherapy


    Your everyday activities and general quality of life can both be greatly impacted by acromioclavicular joint pain. However, good pain management can be achieved by having a better understanding of the disease in conjunction with the right therapy approaches. If you have recurrent shoulder pain, you should consult Southgate Physio in North London straight away so that you can get the proper diagnosis and a personalised treatment plan.

    If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0208 3686767 or emailing us at

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