Acromio Clavicular Joint (ACJ) Sprain
The ACJ is just above the shoulder joint and it connects the clavicle (collar bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade). This joint is normally a very stable joint and doesn’t move much as it is held together by a set of very strong, thick ligaments. The joint only moves a little when you move your arm above your head. The ACJ can be sprained when there is a direct blow of fall onto the shoulder.
Common sports that can cause this injury:
Common Signs & Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of this injury:
- Pain around the top of the shoulder joint
- A bump at the end of the collar bone just above the shoulder
- Pain when lying on the injured shoulder
- Pain on lifting the injured arm above the head
What should be done following this injury:
- Consult your Doctor or physical therapist. For large deformities at the end of the collar bone, go to the Emergency Room.
- Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce pain and swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off). Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Use a sling to protect and rest the shoulder for around 2 weeks.
Depending on how severe the injury is will determine how long it takes for this injury to heal and before you are back playing sport. Initially the shoulder needs to be rested for approximately 2 weeks to allow the inflammatory process to settle and the healing process to begin. Consult with a chartered physical therapist who will advise you on some simple range of movement and strengthening exercises to undertake. They will then guide you back to your chosen sport as the sprain heals.