AC Joint Rehab Advise

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by tennisenthusiast, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. tennisenthusiast

    tennisenthusiast Hall of Fame

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    Hi, I injured my AC joint two years ago (not sure how exactly) but went to ortho and physical therapy and it didn't help. Ortho in the end gave me cortisone injection which seemed to have worked at that time. But unfortunately I re-injured it.

    I have my doctor's appointment next week but does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to rehab it? Anyone had experience with AC joint injuries. It is sore and taut in the morning and it also stiffens up when I carry load in my back like a backpack or something else.

    Any stretches etc that will strengthen it? No pain these days but soreness in the morning and stiffness throughout the day.

    Thank you!
     
    #1
  2. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    Hi,

    I am currently suffering an inflammation of the AC joint as well. It’s still mild, but it is already going on for 3 months with some improvement. I started with a sports PT yesterday and he loosened up the shoulder joint to extend the mobility range again. Then he showed me some exercises, some for the shoulder (similar to rotator cuff exercises you find on YouTube) but surprisingly also for my upper back (rhomboids). He also advised to stretch my pectorals, since they are shortened a bit. My office job made my back muscles weak, so the chest muscles become short and this gives stress on the joint. Basically it’s mobility and muscle strength training what will be my treatment. I hope it all helps, at first sight my shoulder feels “relieved” which is a good sign. Talk about it with your doctor or PT and see how it goes.

    Best regards
     
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  3. tennisenthusiast

    tennisenthusiast Hall of Fame

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    Frenzy - Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I have couple of questions:

    1. Do you hear pops/click when yo do stretches?
    2. Is your AC joint pretty stiff in the morning and/or kind of sore?
    3. Do you have any weakness in your affected shoulder? Can you carry grocery bags etc?

    Mine has been going on for 3 years...

     
    #3
  4. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Obviously everything I'll type is pure speculation as I can't see or palpate your body. But a guess just based on what you've typed in this and your other thread is that you've got some unresolved soft tissue restrictions surrounding the AC joint.

    When you first injured yourself, as part of the protective reflex, your soft tissues went into spasm/tightened around the injured area to..well "protect" it. Some of these spasms/tightness may not have released, and by further stressing them with resistive exercises/forceful stretches/unresolved postural issues it may be a factor in why things have not healed properly/fully. And that has lead to your chronic situation.

    And when it comes to chronic issues in general, at this point in time it might be wise to look at things at a more "global" level, not be just in the AC joint.
    What's your neck doing? Thoracic spine? Rib cage?
    As part of your body's compensation for the AC joint fragility, other parts of your body may shifted/weakened/imbalanced in some way which may be affecting the AC joint in preventing itself from healing properly.

    Might want to investigate someone with good palpation/manual skills (ie massage/physical therapist, etc...) and who looks at the body more as a whole.

    Good luck.
     
    #4
  5. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    IMO, it's the other way around. Your office job caused your pectorals to shorten, pulling your shoulders forward. This in turn:

    1) changed the optimal length tension relationship for your rhomboids, effectively weakening them.

    2) rhomboids tend to tighten/spasm because its trying to in part correct the shortened pectorals; misalignment of the shoulder. This constant contraction also tends to effectively weaken the rhomboids.

    Of course there's more to it than that, but keeping it simple, these weaken/misaligned/tight areas can easily hamper any other injured tissues in the region from "healing" as fast as possible.

    And these weaken/misaligned/tight tissues may be a missing factor when traditional/logical strengthening/stretching exercises are prescribed and performed without satisfactory results.
     
    #5
  6. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    It has been a month now since I started my rehab and results are slowly showing up. Basically I am strengthnign my schoulder muscles with thrower's top ten exercises and it is helps. I have been pain free for 4 days now, played tennis last Friday without pain afterwards. I still have to be careful though, I still have some recovery left (I am at +/-80% now).

    How is your rehab going so far?
     
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