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A.C joint injury

AC joint is a common injury in contact sports such as GAA and Rugby …..

the injury is very often misdiagnosed in A&E departments

sometimes the injury is very serious and obvious, and you will see the large bump at the end of your collar bone, other times less serious it will just be sore on certain movements – like throwing a scarf over the opposite shoulder action – we call this the ‘scarf test’ and perhaps just sore to lie on the shoulder.

medically we grade the injury and this will determine if you need a sling and for how long and in some cases surgery!

the sling is very important as it brings the 2 ends together and that allows it to heal – it may provide pain relief but don’t just take it off because you are not as sore anymore – this is a common mistake and the 2 ends heal in a bad position and this will lead to poor function – sometime allow movement at the joint and that can really flare up the cartilage in between the little joint

grade 1 injury : recovery 3-4 weeks

Sling advisable 1-2 weeks

Normally 2 weeks to get back jogging and running

Week 2-3 before much ball work of lifting above head

3 weeks to any tackling work

3-4 weeks before try a shoulder tackle or hit

Though could play around this time

Try ice every evening to reduce the inflammation

Try anti inflam tablets : Cuprafren 400mg x 2-3 or General Practitioner advice on nsaids

Grade 2 + on the guidance of your medical professional

This is shoulder impingement



This is a very common condition and one that is oftan misdiagnosed.

Who gets it?   1. sports people that overuse the shoulder or in which their sport overdevelops a muscle group – which then causes an imbalance in the muscles and leads to the joint developing a poor position in which the SST tendon is being nipped and the bursa becomes swollen or hardened and therefore nips the tendon instead of cushioning it as you raise your arm. Once the bursa becomes inflammed this is known as a BURSITIS and then a vicious circle develops when every time you lift your arm you are squeezing the bursa and nipping the tendon even more…. known as an IMPINGEMENT – in many cases the tendon can’t cope with the nipping and becomes badly damaged – tendonitis or a tearing will develop.

2. non sports people also get this – some for no reason at all – we see a lot of women mid 40’s onwards who have no reason for developing this and perhaps poor posture and lack of exercise has contributed with the age-ing process thinning the tendon.

3. someone who not used to it then embarks on a DIY or project working overhead – such as painting ceilings, cutting hedges etc

a similar cause is someone who goes back to exercise and does too much

4. someone who has a trauma – from a simple slip or fall where they either land badly or use the arm to grab for something to save themselves.