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Old 08-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #1
Jason Kerkow
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AC Joint Pain

Anyone have any experience with AC joint and trap pain? I am having a hard time even taking my shirt off these days. I have been doing a mixture of CrossFit and my own stuff for years and haven't had this happen before. Any insights on what exercises may cause it? Treatments?
Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:39 PM   #2
Arturo Garcia
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Re: AC Joint Pain

I tried dealing with AC joint for ages. I ended up having surgery 10 weeks ago.. been crossfitting for the past two weeks, so far so good.

I have no idea what caused it, but if I did chinups or pushups I'd have pain the following days/weeks. One of the movements that caused the biggest pain was to try to "elevate the traps"... not a shrug, but just try to pop up the trap without raising the shoulder... that movement hurt, big time. Another one that hurt was trying to touch my left/upper back with my right hand, meaning, crossing it over my chest and trying to reach as far as possible.. this also compresses the ac joint and makes it hurt.

I tried so many things.. from supplements, rest, stretches, etc... nothing work. I had arthrosis though, maybe if you catch it earlier it wont get to that. Now I only hope my left shoulder doesn't do the same, but if it does, I'm not waiting a year (or more) like I did with the right, I'll just have surgery again.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:41 PM   #3
Jacob Cloud
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Re: AC Joint Pain

I also suffer from AC joint pain - on both sides. Had the surgery on the left in December and it still hurts (but nowhere near as bad). The right hurts, too. It sucks. In my case, I have little bone "hooks" that had/have to be shaved off. But it never made me feel any sort of trap soreness or pain at all. I would suggest going to a decent orthopedic with a shoulder specialty and getting it checked out ASAP since you likely have a different ailment.

But in general, shoulder pain won't just go away. I tried that route, for over a year, and finally, after a particularly bad wakeboard crash, had to cave in to the surgery route. The recovery was horrid and I still haven't regained the strength or muscle mass I lost. I really wouldn't advise surgery for most people if they are just now experiencing the pain.

As far as treatments, you always have the cortisone shot option. I've had it work pretty well in my knee, but it didn't do jack for my shoulder. There are mixed opinions out there, but ultimately, I think it's better than 1600+mg of ibuprofen a day, which I've done for several injuries, with various results.

For now, though, rest, ice, and that dumb ibuprofen are your best shots. Get to a doc. Some rubber band resistance exercises might be good - I never liked the 2lb RC junk, but the band therapy has been helpful for various ailments including what I've discussed above.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:32 AM   #4
Brad Thompson
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Re: AC Joint Pain

I have had intermittent pain in my right shoulder/AC for many years. This is mostly due to overuse. Often, the pain seems to generate from my traps - I even get jaw/ear pain related to this.

I started doing shoulder pass-throughs (AKA shoulder dislocators) and KB halos with some relief.

I got moderate relief with Graston Technique applied to the area. Now I am seeing a Chiropractor who is administering Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) So far, the A.R.T. seems to be the most effective. Nerve glides help too.

Google these: Shoulder Dislocators, Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, Kettlebell Halos and Nerve Glides
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:23 AM   #5
Jason Kerkow
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Re: AC Joint Pain

The 2 exercises that seem to bother me the most are kipping pull-ups and flat bench (although sleeping on my side causes just as much pain). I am about to turn 40 and maybe it is time to slow down a little bit, but I hate the thought of that. I think I will try taking a month off and see if that helps.
Thanks again for the information.
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