Acromioclavicular Joint Sprain

Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Sprain or Separation describes an injury to the ligaments between the Acromion of the Scapula (shoulder blade) and the Clavicle (collar bone).

The Acromioclavicular ligament is commonly affected, but injuries can also affect the Coracoclavicular or Coracoacromial ligament. Injuries are often caused by a fall to an outstretched arm.

Ligament injuries vary from Grade I (minor separation) – Grade III (severe separation, resulting in total rupture and joint deformity).


  • Pain (local or global)
  • Pain on moving arm above head
  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Loss of movement


At Jonathan Clark Physiotherapy, we provide advice and education to help you protect your injury. We will often advise the use of ice, anti-inflammatory medication and rest in order to reduce inflammation and pain. Further treatment will focus on providing appropriate support such as taping, as well as ultrasound to aid healing.

Our therapists will aim to normalise your range of movement and provide strengthening rehabilitation to allow you to return to normal levels of functional activity. All treatment is tailored to help avoid long term shoulder problems including weakness and instability.