Thursday, September 27, 2007

The AC Joint.... Friend or Foe?

I find my AC Joints switch allegiences on a daily basis! Usually on a Tuesday and a Saturday!!! I played chiropractor/doctor and found a bit of info in relation to AC injuries and the one I reckon I suffer from! Jeroen will correct me if I'm wrong!!!!

Impingement Syndrome is the most common non-sport related rotator cuff injury. If the supraspinatus tendon passes beneath the acromion, the bone on top of the shoulder, the tendon and the lubricating tissue, or the bursa, is then pinched when the arm is raised into a forward or upward position. Repetitive impingement can make the tendons and the bursa inflamed, resulting in the disease referred to as impingement syndrome.

Factors that put people at a high risk for impingement syndrome:

• Shape/Thickness of the acromion : as discussed in the biology section, the shoulder is a ball and socket type joint, the acromion being the socket, and the humeral head being the ball. In some people the space between the undersurface of the acromion and the humeral head is very narrow, and thus is more likely to pinch the supraspinatus tendon.

• Bone Spur : Some people have bone spurs on the front of the acromion, which increases the risk of impingement syndrome.

• Muscle Imbalance : Either by injury or atrophy, the muscles in the shoulder may become imbalanced, which affects the shoulder motion, especially in the forward direction. Any change in motion increases the risk of impingement.

The symptoms of impingement syndrome are as follows:

• Pain : Impingement syndrome begets an aching pain in both the front of the shoulder and also the outer side of the upper arm. The pain will increase on contact as it is tender to the touch, and also certain movements will result in sharp searing pain.

• Weakness : Due to imbalance, and improper shoulder movement, the shoulder will become weak.

• Lack of Mobility : Some movements may pinch the tendon in such a way that the shoulder will not be able to rotate sufficiently to allow the arm to complete the action. Other motions may simply be too painful.

Impingement syndrome breaks down the supraspinatus tendon near the attachment to the humerus bone. In most severe cases, the tendon may pull away from the bone completely.

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