Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

How to Strengthen & Stretch for an AC Shoulder Injury

author image Joshua McCarron
Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.
How to Strengthen & Stretch for an AC Shoulder Injury
An AC joint injury can cause pain and loss of mobility in your shoulder. Photo Credit: twinsterphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Your AC joint, technically called your acromioclavicular joint, is found in your shoulder where your scapula and clavicle meet. The AC joint can be damaged through a chronic condition such as arthritis, but in most cases injury is due to separation of the joint. AC separation is rated on a grading system. A grade one separation is when the ligaments are stretched but not torn. A grade two separation is when one ligament is torn and one is not. A grade three separation is when both ligaments are torn and the clavicle is completely separated. Surgery may be required with some separations.

Video of the Day

Range of Motion

Step 1

Relax your shoulder as best you can, and let your arm rest alongside your body as you are seated or standing. Swing your arm back and forth and side to side slowly, then make small circles in either direction. Add 1 to 2 pounds of weight to the exercise in each consecutive week.

Step 2

Stand with your arms at your sides. Keep elbows straight and raise your arms straight back behind you. Hold for a five count and repeat 10 times.

Step 3

Rest your forearm on a fixed object such as a doorway. Turn your body away from the doorway slowly to feel a stretch in the front of your chest.


Step 1

Lie on your back with your arms straight out to your sides and palms facing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and toward one another. Keep your neck relaxed and don’t shrug your shoulders. Hold for a five count and do 20 reps two to three times per day.

Step 2

Stand with your arms bent at 90-degree angles and your arms close to your sides. Hold a towel under your affected arm and your body to keep the elbow in tight. Hold the end of a thick rubber band in each hand, and rotate the bad arm outward, keeping the other one still. Do as many as you can without pain.

Step 3

Stand comfortably, while holding a long stick like a broom handle behind your back with palms facing away. Move your hands away from your back, while keeping your elbows straight. Hold for five then relax, and do it 10 times.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media