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Understanding AC Joint Problems

Why Does My Shoulder Blade Hurt?

Newsweek AMPLIFY-  AC Joint Pain

It's important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

You're helping your kid move out to their apartment in LA. They finally got a job they love in their dream city and you want to show them how proud and supportive you are.

As the U-Haul truck arrives at their new doorstep, you rush in to help with moving the big boxes inside. "It's okay, Zaza. I got this." They say.

Not to be dissuaded, you insist on helping and pick-up the box closest to you. It contains their hardbound book collection and you feel like switching boxes but they're still looking at you so you try to play it off nonchalantly so they won't worry.

As you're walking up the stairs, you feel pain in your shoulder. You shrug it off and continue to move the next batch of boxes. You feel the pain at the top of your shoulder spreading to the side of your neck.

That event happened six months ago, your kid has settled comfortably in their new life but your shoulder has never felt the same since. It bothers you. It stings while you're holding the subway pole and that you can't swim as freely as you used to.

Upon consultation with a doctor, he said that you probably have an AC joint problem. It's the first time you've encountered that. What exactly does that mean?

What Is The AC Joint?

The AC joint, or acromioclavicular joint, is the point where the clavicle, your collarbone, connects to your shoulder blade. You can feel this joint as a small bump over the top of the shoulder.

The AC joint allows an additional range of motion to the shoulder blade and assists in arm movement such as shoulder abduction (when you raise your arm out from the sides of your body), and flexion (when you move your arms anywhere from a resting position by your sides to straight above your head).

What symptoms indicate an AC joint injury?

  • Pain and/or a visible bump on the top of the shoulder
  • Pain when you are lying on the affected side
  • Pain that increases with overhead movements or any heavy lifting
  • Swelling and bruising along the shoulder
  • Limited range of motion
  • Reduced strength
  • Popping vibration or catching sensation
Newsweek AMPLIFY-  AC Joint Pain

Non-surgical treatment for AC joint pain

Warm or Cold Compress

It is possible to loosen a stiff AC joint by using moist heat, such as a warming pad or a cloth that has been soaked in hot water, for a few minutes before doing any activity that might be strenuous to the shoulder blade.

Icing the shoulder joint for 20 to 30 minutes after the said activity is also important as it can lessen swelling and give some immediate pain relief. It should be applied directly to the joint either using an ice bag or by massaging the joint with ice cubes.

Ice massage can be very effective since the joint is quite small. Paper cups filled with water and placed in the freezer can make great ice cones for massaging the joint.

These treatments will give you temporary symptom relief but they are not able to treat the underlying causes of AC joint pain.

Activity Modification

Certain activities and exercises will provoke inflammation of the acromioclavicular joint. You should steer clear of weight lifting, golfing, and other exercises that require cross-body arm since they may cause pain.

In addition to specific stretching and strengthening exercises, most people suffering from chronic AC pain will benefit from a regular routine of low-impact aerobic exercise. Since the shoulder is not weight-bearing unlike the knees and hips, you can still walk, jog, and use aerobic gym equipment such as treadmills with relative ease.

Physical Therapy

In contrast to treatment for hip and knee pain, which emphasizes physical therapy, multiple experts have determined physical therapy to be less effective for people who have isolated acromioclavicular pain. However, depending on the patient's co-existing conditions, exercises that are focused on stretching and strengthening muscles and maintaining the shoulder's range of motion may be the most effective.

Joint Health Supplements

Investing in supplements that have been specially formulated to promote overall joint health can be the key to long-term alleviation of pain for your joints, including the acromioclavicular joint. Supplements made from potent, natural ingredients support a healthy response to discomfort caused by occasional aches and pain.

Organifi's MOVE supplements promote organic joint support. They are made from all organic ingredients and are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. A daily dose of Organifi Move is a specifically formulated blend that includes four premium superfoods (organic turmeric, organic arctic pine bark, organic holy basil, and organic astaxanthin) to promote overall joint health.

Get those shoulder blades moving with ease with Organifi's MOVE!

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