The AC (Acromio-clavicular) joint is a thick fibrous joint that connects the top of the shoulder blade to the outer end of the collarbone. The joint is required to be strong and supportive and is the primary way in which weight bearing forces are transferred from the upper limb to the rest of the skeleton.
The primary mechanism that will cause this joint and its ligaments to be injured is a force that separates the shoulder away from the collarbone, usually in a downwards direction.
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Rotator cuff tears are common injuries and can occur in any of the four muscles, usually at their weakest point, which is the junction between the muscle and tendinous tissue. These tears are common in racket and throwing sports and are one of the leading causes of shoulder pain. The prevalence of rotator cuff tears increases as we age due to age related degenerative changes in the tissues.
Strains and sprains are words that are used almost interchangeably when describing injuries, however, they each have quite distinct meanings.
The most straightforward explanation is that a “strain” refers to a tear in a muscle or tendon, while a “sprain” refers to a tear in ligament fibers.