The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is between the bony bit at the end of your shoulder and your collarbone.
Why is such a small joint needed in the shoulder? Well, it allows the arm assisted by the shoulder blade (scapula) to be raised above the head, so it allows the shoulder the ability you need to move your arm in all of those awkward positions.
There are two common problems with this joint...
The first is dislocation. This can occur when you fall on an outstretched hand – the joint becomes separated dependent on grade and the ligaments can be torn.
The second most common issue is arthritis. The ball and socket joint is rarely affected by osteoarthritis, however the AC joint is. Arthritis in this joint results in pain at the shoulder tip, which can also refer to the neck – this is because the supraspinatus tendon runs under the AC joint, so if the joint grows osteophytes (bony spurs developed by the degeneration of cartilage at the joints) they can rub on the tendon and create tears.
Osteopathy involves manipulation techniques to help improve the movement in this joint.
Shoulder problems are often complex and can take a long time to resolve. An osteopath will work with you to try and understand the cause of your shoulder problem. Depending on your age, fitness and the diagnosis we may use a variety of manipulation, articulation and stretching techniques to try and improve the movement in your shoulder and reduce tension in any tight muscles.
Treatment is different in every individual and we may massage and loosen the joints of the neck and upper and mid back and shoulder blade area and sometimes the low back and hips if we feel they are contributing to your shoulder pain.
We also find that muscle trigger point acupuncture around the joint can help to reduce pain and restore function.
Osteopathy has a lot to offer people with shoulder conditions. Here at Not Just Backs, we have a treatment package called Limbs specifically designed for shoulder problems. This package offers seven treatments with a £20 saving. Give us a call on 01722 512 043 now to book yours!