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