Anybody with AC (acromioclavicular) joint problems here?

Anybody with Eagles and AC (acromioclavicular) joint problems here?

I have. Don’t know what you meaning with problems but in my case it is very tight, too.

I have mild (if not moderate by now) degeneration of both ACs.
The reason I got interested in this…
Tight muscles pulling scapula laterally towards the spine from both anterior and posterior sides (e.g. pectoralis minor and rhomboids) also apply pressure on the clavicle, squashing the joints on both ends, but due to the anatomical nuances IMHO more likely on the AC joint than sterno-clavicular (SC) joint.
How tight shoulder muscles possibly affect styloid growth/ligament calcification, I think I already speculated in one of the physio threads…

But now I got one more observation/late night thoughts. Tight AC joint probably changes dynamics of clavicle motion and contributes to compression in the thoracic outlet region, but significantly less when lying supine (because the shoulders get elevated a bit) and that’s why it cannot be discovered using regular scans which are done with the patient lying supine.

Wondering what the long-side effects might be of constant vascular compression and more importantly impingement/immobilisation by the clavicle and the ribcage.

The mechanics might be very interesting if the IJV gets pinched at the TO level and at the same time the head is extended, tilted, side-flexed or rotated. That should give the IJV quite a bit of stretch over the segment from the head to the TO!
Maybe* (just maybe) that is what eventually starts causing tightly stretched IJV which doesn’t “hang loosely” in the neck anymore but rather goes like a hose under tension and gets easily impinged by C1 lateral mass and other structures without freedom to move around.
But again, that’s just speculation and probably even if that happens, it must take long time to develop. The IJV obviously is not on its own, but going in a compartment and probably that compartment doesn’t allow the vein to be simply pulled out like a wire from the insulation…

Upd: that’s a good chapter: Chapter 8 – Carotid Artery and Internal Jugular Vein Injuries | Anesthesia Key


Me! I injured my right AC joint when I had my bike accident in 2015. I think it’s gotten arthritic as my right AC jt. is more pronounced than the left now. It hasn’t bothered me for awhile but was really uncomfy for several years.

Me. Both of my AC joints have subluxed on me numerous times over the years but I do have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome so that comes with the territory. I now have arthritis in both joints. And scar tissue is holding them both together at this point. One good thing scar tissue does lol. They are always sore but I guess that’s better than them going out all the time.


Couple things about AC joint anatomy.
It is the first joint in our body to show signs of degeneration ~20 yo (which is a natural aging process and not a disease) given the amazing range of motion (and high use) of the shoulder complex. It is held together only by very small ligaments so if these ligaments are lax or torn muscle strengthening will not help, talk to anyone with a grade 3 separation.

If you are experiencing restriction at this joint it is best to look at the surrounding global dynamics and focus there, do not waste your time with the AC joint specifically. Movement strategies of the upper thorax with shoulder girdle and ribs will be more involved in dynamic head positioning … getting closer to the styloids :wink: Look at restrictive breathing patterns (primary apical respiration patterns), global postural habits and compensations, over use of rhomboid minor and pec minor, etc. Chronic use of “shoulders back and down” will lead to compression of the brachial plexus and vasculature and further over use of the rhomboids and pec minor, forward head and loss of natural cervical lordosis.

Good conversation exploring some of the complications that may be a factor with vascular compromise and it’s relation to elongated styloids. Thankfully it is in the public eye, we have much to learn and that is going to take time.