Most people need to realize the importance of keeping their AC joints healthy. As an essential component of the shoulder, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint plays a significant role in our daily lives. It is found at the top of the shoulder, where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the shoulder blade (scapula). It connects these two bones and is responsible for shoulder stability and movement. Unfortunately, the AC joint can become injured or damaged over time, leading to pain and discomfort. However, there are ways you can prevent AC joint wear and tear.
Tips For Keeping Your AC Joints Healthy
Here are ten ways you can keep your AC joint healthy:
- Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles around the AC joint and improve its stability. Focus on exercises that target the shoulder muscles, such as push-ups, shoulder presses and rows.
- Maintain Proper Posture: Good posture can help prevent AC joint injuries by reducing the strain on the joint. Avoid slouching or hunching over, and keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Use Proper Technique When Lifting: When lifting heavy objects, use proper lifting techniques to avoid straining the AC joint. Bend your knees, straighten your back and use your legs to lift.
- Wear Protective Gear: If you engage in contact sports or activities that increase your risk of an AC joint injury, wear protective gear such as shoulder pads or a brace.
- Stretch Regularly: Stretching before and after exercise can help improve flexibility and prevent AC joint injuries. Focus on stretching the muscles around the shoulder, such as the chest, back and shoulders.
- Avoid Repetitive Overhead Activities: Activities involving repetitive overhead movements, such as throwing a ball or painting a ceiling, can stress the AC joint and increase your risk of injury. Take breaks and rest when performing these activities.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Extra pounds can stress the AC joint and increase your risk of injury. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Use Proper Ergonomics: If you work at a desk or computer, ensure your workstation is ergonomically designed to reduce strain on the AC joint. Use a chair with adequate back support and keep your computer monitor at eye level.
- Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach: This position stresses the AC joint and increases your risk of injury. Sleep on your back or side instead.
- Seek Medical Attention for Pain or Discomfort: If you experience pain or discomfort in the AC joint, seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition from worsening.
Consulting an AC Joint Specialist for Pain or Discomfort
Caring for your AC joint is vital for maintaining shoulder mobility and preventing injuries. By following the tips above and seeking professional help whenever necessary, you can keep your AC joint healthy and pain-free. However, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your AC joint, contact Steven Struhl, MD, AC joint separation specialist, to schedule a consultation and get the expert help you need.
Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD