The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is the place in the shoulder where the shoulder blade and collarbone meet. If the cartilage that connects these bones wears down, it can cause wear and tear in the joint. This results in pain and swelling.
Both ice and medication can help reduce pain and swelling. Ice can be applied daily or as often as needed. Medications include aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin® and Aleve®.
If these treatments don’t work, the next step is a cortisone shot. One shot often provides long-term relief, but sometimes a second shot is needed. Usually no more than one or two shots are given before surgery is considered.