Join pain depends on numerous reasons, but the main factors are the specific type (location) of the joint and the cause of the discomfort. Whether it is an accidental injury, or a trauma caused by a chronic condition, joint pain should never be underestimated. You need to urgently determine the reason you have the ache, consult with a doctor and take the necessary measures whether to reduce it, or to eliminate it fully. And knowing the different joint types is the first step to be prepared for actions or at least to calm yourself down that you don`t have such a serious trauma, but a regular injury that can be treated with ordinary remedies at home.
To make the first step for all of these, you can now read our informative material about the acromioclavicular joint. And to be more specific, today, our topic is the acromioclavicular joint pain, itself – what the symptoms are, how it can be caused, treated and diagnosed. So let`s start with some basic information specifically about acromioclavicular joint, though. Below, we will sometimes, call the acromioclavicular joint with the shorter name of AC joint.
In short, acromioclavicular joint is the articulation between the acromion process of the scapula and the lateral end of the clavicle. This joint is located at the tip of the shoulder where the acromion portion of the shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle) join together. The AC joint is not as mobile as the large main shoulder joint and only moves when the shoulder is overhead or across the chest (adducted). The joint is partly filled with a thick pad of cartilage, known as the meniscus, wich allows the joint to move. It is one of the important functional joints that allows a full range of movement at the glenohumeral joint. The joint contains a fibrocartilaginous disc that cushions the articulations. This is the joint that is surrounded by a joint capsule and is provided additional support by the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments (the coracoclavicular ligament is made up of the trapezoid and conoid ligaments. All of these, as you can guess, makes the acromioclavicular joint at a very serious and constant risk to be exposed to different injuries and traumas. They are, as a matter of fact, the top factors that cause acromioclavicular joint pain. Here is what you need to know about them.
AC joint injuries represent nearly half of all athletic shoulder injuries, often resulting from a fall on to the tip of the shoulder with the arm in adduction, or a collision in high-impact contact sports. Injury may occur as a consequence of throwing sports or chronic irritation due to activities that require repetitive overhead motions, particularly weightlifting. Its aetiology is uncertain but may be due to repeated stress fractures of the lateral clavicle. Generally, orthopaedic divide the common traumas: sprain and disruption. The acromioclavicular joint disruption is in most cases complete disruption. The trauma causes are not only athletic. Ordinary people can have them, too. They are common for those moments, when the body is too exhausted or if the person has weak bone system, sick muscles. Such an injury affects the axillary/subclavian vessels, the brachial plexus or the muscular avulsion, particularly deltoid and trapezius. Rarely, pneumothorax if there is associated clavicular fracture.
The main symptoms of the acromioclavicular joint injury – whether sprain, or disruption, is of course, the sharp pain that is due to the inflammation process in the joint cartilage, as well as swelling, lack of motions you are usually able to perform, loss of any shoulder motions and stiffness, bruises all over the affected area and even a lump on the same zone. Body temperature can be increased due to the awful pain and the inflammation process.
How to get rid of the acromioclavicular joint pain if caused by a trauma? First of all, make sure your situation gets a proper diagnose by an orthopaedic specialist. If the ache is unbearable, he or she will prescribe you pain killers and a special therapy for fast recovery. The therapy is in most cases physical – special exercises, massages. They can accompanied with food supplements for stronger joints. Collagen and magnesium are must. When the situation is more serious, which means the trauma is very serious – complete acromioclavicular joint disruption or breakage – surgery might be needed. It is necessary for the quick and effective recovery of the damaged ligaments surrounding the AC joint. But with a surgery the therapy is not over. It requires post surgery rehabilitation on mandatory, too. In most cases, the rehabilitation is similar to the physical therapy prescribed for treatments that do not require any interventions.
Things are a bit different, when it comes to acromioclavicular joint pain caused by a concrete dies ease. Usually, we are talking about a chronic condition that affects the skeleton, the muscles and of course, the join strength, itself.
Arthritis – the most possible reason for you to have AC joint pain
Arthritis is a serious chronic disease that can affect numerous joint types – including the shoulder AC joint. But arthritis has different forms and a certain one is the most regular one for such an ache. What we are talking about is the Glenohumeral Arthritis. Also known behind the name of Shoulder Osteoarthritis, this is a condition that strikes the acromioclavicular joint months after the first (non-joint) symptoms you receive. This is why many patients do not even need to visit a doctor to be sure that they have it. Once the AC joint starts hurting that much and with frequency of a whole day, the diagnose is clear. Still, is a duty for every patient to make sure to visit a specialist for a diagnose confirmation. Otherwise, the treatment is not going to be effective. But be aware that the so calle4d Acromioclavicular arthritis might come in many forms, most commonly osteoarthritis, followed by forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that involves two primary processes: The cartilage in the joints breaks down. Abnormal bony growths, called osteophytes or bone spurs, develop in the joint.
Synovitis, also called osteolysis is another reason you can have sharp AC joint pain . In this case, the acromioclavicular joint has cysts due to the inflammation. Unlike the previous medical condition there is no additional free space bone and muscle, but swelling and lumps that press the joint. But both conditions, by the way, can be cured in a similar way. This includes rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and consideration of a corticosteroid injection into the joint. An MRI scan may be helpful in diagnosing acromioclavicular joint arthritis, and particularly in diagnosing acromioclavicular joint synovitis or osteolysis. With synovitis, increased fluid is commonly seen in the acromioclavicular joint, and there may also be fluid in the distal clavicle and some evidence of bone destruction. In many cases, symptoms can be well controlled with conservative measures. In other cases, the symptoms will persist, and continue to cause limitation in function and inability to do heavy lifting. In these patients, resection of the acromioclavicular joint can be performed arthroscopically. This may be done in conjunction with a decompression surgery of the subacromial space.
Contact your GP for guides and directions where to turn for a help if you have acromioclavicular joint pain regardless whether you are diagnosed with a chronic bone or joint disease, or you have a trauma as an athlete or an ordinary person.