Symptoms of Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Understanding the symptoms that accompany pain in the AC joint is important for those whit shoulder troubles.

Also known as the AC joint, the acromioclavicular joint is located in the shoulder. It’s the joint that connects the collar bone also called the clavicle the upper section of the shoulder blade known as the acromion. This is an important, frequently used part of the body and also one that is regularly injured or that often suffers from issues like degeneration. Knowing the symptoms of acromioclavicular joint pain is a good idea if you’re suffering from pain within the shoulder.

Symptoms of Acromioclavicular Joint Pain

Acromioclavicular joint pain is brought on by two things direct trauma or gradual deterioration. Of these, trauma is the most common and is worth looking at first.

Injuries to the AC joint are usually caused in sports like football, rugby, and hockey. Other activities like rock climbing, skiing, or wrestling can cause it to occur as well. Basically, when people think of the old term ‘I popped my shoulder out of socket’, this is the injury they’re probably thinking of. But along with becoming dislocated, a number of other injuries may occur including sprains and tears of the ligaments. Symptoms of AC joint pain caused by injuries include:

  • Sharp initial pain ranging from moderate to severe immediately when the injury occurs.
  • Bruising or swelling in the shoulder.
  • A deformed look to the shoulder. This is caused by the clavicle protruding after the two bones are separated.
  • High levels of stiffness and tightness.
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder and pain when moving it horizontally.

After the injury has healed, patients may still suffer from numerous issues. In fact, even without experiencing a serious injury there is a chance that the AC joint may suffer from things like arthritis. As you use your body it gradually begins to deteriorate in different ways. When the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons in the AC joint wear down it can cause inflammation, pain, and more. It may trigger arthritis as well.

Symptoms of chronic conditions like this include swelling and inflammation, stiffness, and pain that is often more severe in the morning when you wake up or after periods of use. The more seriously injured one’s AC joint is during their life or the more it is used, the higher the chances of developing arthritis or other similar degenerative diseases will be. Your doctor can make a final diagnosis as to the source of your AC pain.

 

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