Could you give me some information on AC Joint separation (i.e., the best post rehab exercises, what problems to expect in the future regarding joint ROM, flexibility and how best to counteract them)?
Of course, a medical clearance is vital prior to commencement of any training when dealing with an injury of this nature. Concerning the shoulder girdle, there are specific muscles prone to tightness and reduced ROM that can be identified through a few basic assessments.
Some muscles prone to tightness at the shoulder girdle include:
- Pectoralis Major/Minor
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Teres Major
- Upper Trapezius
- Levator Scapulae
The following assessments can be used to address the tightness:
- Standing postural assessment: (anterior/posterior/lateral)
- Scapulae should be flat against thoracic spine, NOT ABDUCTED/PROTRACTED
- Thoracic spine should have normal curve slightly convex to posterior
- Shoulders should be level/symmetrical, no noticeable hike and/or protraction on either side
- Cervical spine should have normal curve slightly convex to anterior
Overhead Squat Assessment:
- Do the arms fall forward during the movement.
- Do the elbows bend during the movement.
- Do the shoulders internally rotate and/or abduct.
Active ROM Assessment:
- Is there an ability to achieve 180 degrees of shoulder flexion w/o compensation at the LPHC (lumbo-pelvic hip complex)?
- Is there an ability to achieve 45 degrees of shoulder extension w/o scapular "hiking" or protraction?
- Cobra progressions (floor, ball, single leg, etc.)
- Scaption progressions (seated, standing DL-SL, BALL, etc.)
- PNF diagonal patterns (up & outs, down & outs, etc., [seated, standing, etc. - cable, DB, etc.])
Please refer to the Exercise & Flexibility Library for descriptions.
- Clark MA. "Integrated Training for the New Millennium." Thousand Oaks, CA The National Academy of Sports Medicine; 2001.
- Clark MA. "Essentials of Integrated Training Series." 2002. Personal Training on the Net,
- Kendall; McCreary; Provance. "Muscles Testing and Function." Fourth Ed. 1993.