Acromioclavicular joint injuries

Have you ever landed on the tip of your shoulder and had ongoing pain? Chances are that the pain is coming from the acromioclavicular joint.

The shoulder joint is the point of connection between the clavicle, acromion and scapula. The tip of the scapula and the tip of the clavicle meet to create the acromioclavicular joint.

Role of the ACJ

It plays an important role in allowing overhead movements and maintaining strength during pushing/pulling/lifting.


The ACJ is held together by a series of ligaments, the acromioclavicular, coracoacromial and coracoclavicular. When these ligaments are damaged this can lead to instability between the acromion and clavicle.

Injury to the ACJ

What to look for


Immediate management is rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the pain lasts for more than a few days, it is important to get in and see your physiotherapist as soon as possible. Immediate management will be stabilising the ACJ (usually through taping or a brace), low-level intensity strengthening exercises, massage therapy, joint mobilisations, short term changes to lifestyle and referral for an x-ray if required. Surgery is usually not necessary however in severe cases can be required.

Once you have completed your rehabilitation your physiotherapist can show you several techniques to help you return to sport and prevent ongoing issues.

Call 9901 4000 to make an appointment and we can get you back on track!