Acromio Clavicular Joint (ACJ) Sprain

Posted by Neo G on

What is a Acromio Clavicular Joint (ACJ) Sprain

The ACJ is just above the shoulder joint and it connects the clavicle (collar bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade). This joint is normally a very stable joint and doesn’t move much as it is held together by a set of very strong, thick ligaments. The joint only moves a little when you move your arm above your head. The ACJ can be sprained when there is a direct blow of fall onto the shoulder.


Common Causes

Common sports that can cause this injury:

  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Football

Common Signs & Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of this injury:

  • Pain around the top of the shoulder joint
  • A bump at the end of the collar bone just above the shoulder
  • Pain when lying on the injured shoulder
  • Pain on lifting the injured arm above the head

Condition Management

What should be done following this injury:

  • Consult your GP or physiotherapist. For large deformities at the end of the collar bone, go to A&E.
  • Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce pain and swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off). Never apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Use a sling to protect and rest the shoulder for around 2 weeks.


Depending on how severe the injury is will determine how long it takes for this injury to heal and before you are back playing sport. Initially the shoulder needs to be rested for approximately 2 weeks to allow the inflammatory process to settle and the healing process to begin. Consult with a chartered physiotherapist who will advise you on some simple range of movement and strengthening exercises to undertake. They will then guide you back to your chosen sport as the sprain heals.


Arm Slings

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* Disclaimer *

The content on this website is provided for general information and reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. All exercises and information featured on this web site should only be reviewed/practised under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Products suggestions linked to injuries may be provided on the site but you must always refer to the product page for full product details and always consult a physician before use as the indications outlined may not always be relevant to your particular injury/condition.


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