T Nation

AC Joint Concerns


Hey guys, to keep it short, I have been noticing a discomfort on and off daily, not necessarily pain, in what I believe is my ac joint. I bench press 2x a week but with very low volume, and use a strict form based off of the "so you think you can bench" videos. I have always done exercises known to keep shoulders healthy (face pulls, rear delt flys, shoulder dislocates, and rows rows rows, and pulldowns) either before I press to warm up or after I press to end the workout. I also do the dislocates daily after I shower, lol.

As for the feeling, it is like something is rubbing against my ac joint, but I wouldn't describe as grinding per say. Today I iced it and took a muscle relaxer, and all has felt fine.

Advice is much appreciated as I have been experiencing great gains that I would like to see continue.

Background: 19, train for strength using 5/3/1, lifting for 3 years, strength training for 1.


Could be a bone spur in the AC joint.. Its not a horible procedure to shave it down.. If it is you wanna fix it cuz that spur will shread your rotator cuff and just cause more inflamation...Go see a sports orhapedist and get a MRI or Xray.. For a temporary fix they may give you a shot of cortazone right in the joint... If its surgery dont sweat it you will be fine in 90days ish


So you think you have a joint dysfunction, yet are taking muscle relaxants, at 19 years old....yikes.

Short is no good, we need details if you want any insight to your situation.


The way I saw it, sometimes, in my very short experience, discomfort like that can be due to overly tight muscles. Sorry for my lack of intelligence.

Only other details I can think to add are that it has been this way for roughly 4 weeks, and it is either the same or unnoticeable while lifting. Most prominent when I wake up as I sleep on that shoulder. Anything else I could tell you?


No problem dubsies, the closed pack postion of the AC joint is with your arm abducted (out to the side) at shoulder height (90 degrees). Which means it can be vulnerable during a bench press. For the past 4 weeks have you continued to bench 2X a week? AC pain is usually made worse or can be felt when your arm is all the way up over your head, kinda how you described sleeping pain. I think you know the answer to this problem, but I would back off the benching and maybe find a less stressful exercise for the chest (maybe like a reverse grip machine press idk)


the grinding could be the supraspintaus underneath the AC but you seem way too young for that


Thanks a lot for the thoughtful replies. How long should I back off of the regular bench press?


This is very highly individual, so you have to make this call. Being your young it probably won't be for too long.


I've had surgery on both sides. I had bone spurs. doctor also said many years hunched over a computer at a desk job contributed to mine. Wouldn't think based on your age that would be a factor, but could be. Agree, if you have to have it, surgery is no big deal.

Good luck.