There are several different options for treating and managing acromioclavicular joint pain correctly and effectively.
Acromioclavicular joint pain, or AC joint pain as it’s often called, is one of the more common issues that patients have to deal with. It’s most common in athletes since direct trauma is usually the main cause of it. Contact sports and even sports like volleyball or soccer present the chance of developing AC joint injury. Injuries vary in severity, but usually consist of ligament tears which cause tenderness and swelling. They may even cause the shoulder and collarbone to separate from one another, resulting in severe pain and major difficulty moving. Along with the initial injury, many who suffer from AC joint pain also have to deal with lingering pain from arthritis or degenerative issues.
Acromioclavicular joint pain treatments will depend upon the specifics of the injury, which your physician will need to determine. There are several things that will be possibilities.
- Ice packs applied to the area for a half hour right after the injury are important and will reduce pain as well as reduce swelling.
- Usually, immobilization will be required. If the collarbone and shoulder blade have become separated, the doctor may have to reset them as well.
- The use of ice or heat will probably be used during the healing process, whichever works the best for you.
- Periods of rest may need to be followed, often up to several weeks. During this time the shoulder will be immobilized to avoid causing further damage.
- NSAID medications like aspirin or ibuprofen may also be used.
- Only in cases when serious pain will not go away and when all other options have failed, your doctor may consider surgery to repair the AC joint ligament tears. This is usually a factor in cases where the tears are too severe to heal on their own.
- Pain following the injury caused by arthritis or other lingering effects is usually managed with NSAIDs, but studies have found that things like natural supplements can help prevent and lessen pain. Acupuncture may also be effective for some people.
The specific treatments that will work for you will usually need to be determined by your physician. They’ll have to examine your shoulder and determine just what type of issue has caused the pain and what to do to help you alleviate it. With the right steps, relief is closer than you may think.
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