Shoulder AC Joint Injuries


You may have heard of the AC Joint (acromioclavicular joint) in the shoulder. This is the joint between your acromion (tip of the shoulder blade) and the outer tip of your clavicle (collar bone). Common causes of injury to the AC joint include falling on an outstretched arm, landing on the elbow or a direct blow to the AC joint.

There are several ligaments which help to stabalise the AC joint and are susceptible to injury. These injuries are graded from Grade 1-6 depending on severity and can be diagnosed by X-Ray. Grades 4-6 often need surgical intervention as the ligaments are more severely torn. For lower grades you may only need two weeks off sport with this time increasing with increasing grades.

It is crucial to get full recovery of this joint in order to regain full shoulder movement.Acromioclavicular Joint

Management by your physiotherapist may include:

  • A referral for an X-Ray and referral to a sports physician if a Grade 4-6 is diagnosed.
  • Taping of the joint.
  • Massage and joint mobilisation as required.
  • Dry Needling.
  • A pain free shoulder strengthening exercise program taking care to limit overhead activities initially and progressing to sport specific exercises.

Please contact InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 if you have any questions regarding this blog.