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  1. #1
    Registered User Bgreise24's Avatar
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    AC joint issues......."weightlifter's shoulder"

    I am a sixteen year old male. I have been lifting for a while but the past month i have been pretty much balls to the wall training. For about a week and a half my left shoulder has been progressivly hurting worse and worse but only during and right after training. I went to the doctor yesterday and he pointed out the popping noise in my shoulder to me. He says it is my AC joint. From the research i have done i've come to understand there are three levels of severity when considering AC joint injuries. Mine i believe is a Stage 1 a stress or stress on the joint which is the most minor. Regardless I have to wait for my joint to naturally recuperate, otherwise the injury will probably hang around or recur with greater severity. So im out of the gym for two weeks as far as upper body is concerned, i guess its time to do some extra cardio....I can't do any upper body back or traps obviously no presses, i even fear working my biceps because i don't want to worsen the injury.......

    anyway, as i was reading up on this i learned that minor AC joint injurys such as mine are often reffered to as weightlifter's shoulder. I suppose it's from the excess training or stress that i have been putting on my body at the gym lately, apparently the injury is more common in younger people, perhaps 20 and below, but i would like to hear from anyone who has a recurring AC injury or thinks that they may have an AC joint problem for the first time.

    Please respond to this thread i am very curious
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  2. #2
    Registered User Warrior18's Avatar
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    I hurt my AC joint while playing lacrosse. I went for a hit and threw my left shoulder into my opponent and herd a poping sound. I had intense pain and thought that I had broken my left clavicle. I went to the doctors and found out that it was an AC sprain. I rushed back to lacrosse season sooner than I should have and played while injured for 2 weeks. Now that the season is over, my AC joint still gives me trouble and I should have waited for it to fully heal before going back to lacrosse. My advice would be to let it a FULLY heal, theres no rush to come back a week or so earlier if it's going to hurt you in the long run. Even now im still icing and resting my shoulder waiting for it to fully heal. Very frustrating...
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  3. #3
    STEP INTO THE DEMONS LAIR trivium9's Avatar
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    I injured mine while benching in january. I took two months off and started lifting again. I had a grade 2 sprain. I am lucky enough to work for a rehabilition clinic so I was able to take advantage of all the modalities we have. And did therapy on it. This aided in the process but time is the true healer. I waited until all the symptoms were gone but it still bothers me today. Everytime I do chest or biceps it hurts. In the 4 months since I started training again it gets alittle better each day but still it is not something you want to mess around with.
    Your best best is to just stop training until it is healed and then when you returned to training take it slow and listen to you body.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Bgreise24's Avatar
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    thats what i was thinking

    i thought to just follow the doctors advice and cool it for a few weeks. BUt thanks for your input i guess i should be smart and let it heal for the long run
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  5. #5
    Registered User MontanaPT's Avatar
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    Smile

    All right man a couple tips. Rest and listen to your body. Strengthen your rotator cuff also considering you haven't had an m.r.i. you probably have a slight impingement. this can be caused by many things. Stay in control of your weight and use perfect form on all lifts. When I was your age i would arch my back while benching heavy weights and now i pay the price with biceps tendonosis. try nsaids, ice, and lots of stretching throughout the day. don't over do it and i wish someone would have told me this when i was your age!
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    Registered User MontanaPT's Avatar
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    also exercises that pull may be beneficial. try pull ups and shrugs and rows and if they aren't hurting there is probably no reason while you can't continue.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Bgreise24's Avatar
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    thanks a lot these are all great tips. I realized that something was wrong and when i get back in the gym i will listen to my body and make sure that it's not hurting me. How do i strengthen my rotator cuff in case it is weakened????
    Do i simply work my deltoids?
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    STEP INTO THE DEMONS LAIR trivium9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bgreise24 View Post
    thanks a lot these are all great tips. I realized that something was wrong and when i get back in the gym i will listen to my body and make sure that it's not hurting me. How do i strengthen my rotator cuff in case it is weakened????
    Do i simply work my deltoids?

    You will want to train the delts and rotator cuff muscles.\

    http://familydoctor.org/online/famdo...uries/265.html

    http://www.bodyresults.com/E2RotatorCuff.asp

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/dorian1.htm
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  9. #9
    Registered User Bgreise24's Avatar
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    thanks alot trivium9 perhaps stretching will aid my recovery as well
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    STEP INTO THE DEMONS LAIR trivium9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bgreise24 View Post
    thanks alot trivium9 perhaps stretching will aid my recovery as well
    NO prob, good luck with it
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  11. #11
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    I've suffered from this problem on a couple of occasions and the advice given is right on point. Just be careful when you start training again and make sure you stretch well and keep the weight light and hit high reps for awhile to recondition the joint so the pain doesn't come back down the road as it has with many of us. Best of luck and keep us posted!
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  12. #12
    Registered User Bgreise24's Avatar
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    will do
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    Bump to someone's old thread...

    I'm doing some research and I think I might have this condition. Can anyone who's had it diagnosed tell me how they recuperated, if they knew what STAGE it was (1,2 or 3 severity)?

    Thanks,
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    I was just diagnosed with AC joint stage 1 condition. But I'm just wondering, what does the pain feel like?
    Mine is directly in the area and it becomes a searing sharp pain when I hold my arm a certain way, especially for prolounged periods of time.

    But now I'm noticing pain in other parts of my shoulder. Is that just a result of spreading pain?
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  15. #15
    Getting my Durantula on FryDude's Avatar
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    Was researching it myself (I may or may not have it but it never hurts to learn) and came across this article

    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/...lavicular.html

    Hope it helps.
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    Yah I'm wondering how you'd tell the difference between a type 1, 2 and 3. I'm not in a lot of pain, its more just a nuisance. -- gets swollen and aggravated.
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    Pain is located at the articulation of the acromion-clavicle... usually from destabilization and rubbing of the cartilage.

    In addition, the surrounding musculature can also be tight instable and clamp down and get painful as well.

    But if the joint there is hurting/aching/etc. it's likely you're having some AC joint issues.

    --------------------------

    For rehab....

    Basically, you can follow tendonitis protocol minus the exercise and stretching for now:
    http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/on-tendonitis/

    The AC joint connects scapular to the rest of the body through the clavicle. The joint is supposed to be immobile. Once it gets moving via strain or tearing of the ligaments, it's very easy to get arthritis in the joint since the cartilage wears down pretty quickly.

    Basically, what you do with AC joint is rest, massage the muscles around the area to increase blood flow for healing + keep the muscles from tightening up, fish oil for anti-inflammatory, ice if it helps.

    Once it start feeling better improve range of motion with non-painful movement, and start strengthening rotator cuff muscles to make the shoulder more stable.

    Then work slowly back into compound movements.

    Usually each of these steps will take 2-3 weeks each.
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  18. #18
    Registered User bndrz's Avatar
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    Bumping this old thread as its relevant to me now.
    I'm getting treatment for an AC strain and I was told to keep doin exercises as long as I don't aggregate the joint.
    So, for me that means barbell bench and weighted dips are out for now. But doing dumbbell bench actually feels like its doing good.
    Also barbell shoulder press has been ok, but I might switch to dumbells as they don't restrict the range of motion on the joint like a barbell does.
    It seems that while rest is definitely the key to the healing process, i don't think it should mean lay off the exercises all together if you can find exercises that don't cause pain. I guess it does depend on the severity of the problem too. Mine seems to be low grade
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  19. #19
    Registered User nrhornet's Avatar
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    I was just recently doing some research on this injury and just wanted to share my thoughts as I wish someone shared this with me...

    I've always been into lifting and sports and but never truly devoted much time to my form. My old job caused a lot of strain on my shoulder and now that I've quit and am getting back into the gym I've encountered some pain in my right shoulder and sometimes right bicep. I did a lot of research and tried a lot of different things but it wasn't until I asked one of trainers at my gym for some advice that I learned the most. You can do as much research as you want but until you have someone educated on this watch your form you may not get the right advice. I was told how barbell really constricts the movement of your entire upper body. He told me to simply keep my elbows in more and use dumbbells so that I could turn my wrists at about a 45 degree angle then lift, using bench press and push press. After only a few days I've noticed dramatic loss of pain and I think those minor adjustments were all I needed.

    Also, watch your posture. If you find yourself leaning on your elbow while sitting, driving or anything else, this causes a strain on your shoulder which can also help. And while you're sleeping, avoid sleeping on your side as this causes strain as well.

    Hope this helps anyone.
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  20. #20
    Registered User Stigmeister's Avatar
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    Hi All

    I too have experienced pain in my right shoulder. The pain was also in my bicep and tricep when it first started a few days ago but now not so much.
    I am lucky in a way that I live in China, as I went to see a Chinese medical massage and he realigned my muscles all down my right hand side. I aslo had the scraping & cupping therapy done. This was my first time to experience these alternative treatments but they seemed to work. The pain certainly subsided but it has come back but again not as bad as it first was.
    Anyway on top of that I have been following the advice in this thread and had a total rest for the past 3-4 days since it happened and also had a rest from my cardio workouts on the bike every morning (better safe than sorry).
    I have also been doing the stretching exercises suggested in this post and yes they also seem to have helped.
    So I just wanna say thanx to anyone who gave advice in this thread.
    Very helpful indeed.

    Stig
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