When it comes to shoulder pain, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint is a common source of discomfort. This joint, which is located between the clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade), is integral in the movement of the shoulder.
The shoulder is a complex joint made up of three main joints: the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, the sternoclavicular (SC) joint, and the glenohumeral joint. The AC joint is located where the clavicle meets the acromion of the scapula and is responsible for providing stability between the shoulder and the chest wall. The SC joint is located between the clavicle and the sternum and is responsible for providing a connection between the shoulder and the axial skeleton. The glenohumeral joint is a ball and socket joint that allows the arm to move in multiple directions.
The clavicle acts as a tether between the body and the scapula, and it is essential for the shoulder joint to move properly. Think of movement the shoulder joint as the hands of a clock. As the clock hand moves around the clock from 6 to 9 o'clock, the clavicle doesn’t move, but the shoulder joint does. From 9 to 11 o'clock, the SC joint moves, and from 11 to 12 o'clock, the AC joint moves.
If the tissues surrounding the clavicle, such as the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi, are not able to move freely, then more stress is placed on the AC joint. This can lead to pain in the AC joint, which can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain.
If you are experiencing pain in the AC joint, Team Chiropractic can assess the movement of the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues to determine the cause of your pain. Treatment options may include chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy, and exercises to help restore proper movement and reduce pain.
By addressing the underlying cause of your shoulder pain, a sports and rehabilitation chiropractor can help you find relief and get back to doing the activities you love.
Dr. Chris Feil