Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement syndrome, also known as subacromial impingement syndrome, is a condition that occurs when the tendons or bursa (a fluid-filled sac) in the shoulder become compressed or pinched. This can cause pain and inflammation in the shoulder, and can also affect the range of motion in the joint. Shoulder impingement is most commonly caused by overuse or repetitive motions, such as those involved in sports or activities that involve reaching overhead or behind the back. It can also be caused by poor posture, muscle imbalances, or injury to the shoulder. Symptoms may include pain in the shoulder, weakness, and difficulty raising arm, stiffness or limited range of motion.

Treatment options include rest, ice, physical therapy, and in some cases, medication or a corticosteroid injection. Surgery may be recommended in severe cases. Physical therapy may include exercises to improve strength and flexibility in the shoulder, as well as exercises to correct muscle imbalances. Surgery options include arthroscopy, bursectomy, and acromioplasty.

It is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis, as shoulder impingement can be caused by other conditions such as rotator cuff tears or arthritis.

The symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome can vary depending on the severity and duration of the condition. Common symptoms include:

      • Pain in the shoulder, which may be felt when lifting or reaching overhead, or when lying on the affected side
      • Weakness in the arm and shoulder
      • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the shoulder
      • A grinding or popping sensation in the shoulder
      • Numbness or tingling in the fingers
      • Pain that worsens with repetitive motions or overhead activities

Symptoms may start gradually and may get worse over time if not treated. Some people may also experience weakness in the shoulder or arm and have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as combing hair, reaching for things in high places or behind the back. It’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis, as shoulder impingement can be caused by other conditions such as rotator cuff tears or arthritis, which have similar symptoms.

Shoulder impingement syndrome is caused by the compression or pinching of the tendons or bursa (a fluid-filled sac) in the shoulder. Common causes of shoulder impingement include:

      • Overuse or repetitive motions: Activities that involve reaching overhead or behind the back, such as playing sports or using tools, can put stress on the tendons and bursa in the shoulder and lead to impingement.

      • Poor posture: Poor posture, such as rounded shoulders, can put extra stress on the tendons and bursa in the shoulder and lead to impingement.

      • muscle imbalances: Weakness or imbalance of the muscles that support the shoulder can cause the shoulder blade to move in an abnormal way, putting pressure on the tendons and bursa

      • Injury or trauma: Injury or trauma to the shoulder, such as a dislocated shoulder or a rotator cuff tear, can lead to impingement.

      • Age: As people get older, the tendons in the shoulder can become less flexible, which can increase the risk of impingement.

      • Bone spurs: In some cases, a bony growth called a spur can develop on the acromion, the bone that forms the top of the shoulder blade, which can lead to impingement.

It’s important to note that not all impingements are caused by the same factors and a proper examination by an orthopedic doctor or physical therapist is needed to determine the underlying cause and create a tailored treatment plan.

Treatment of the underlying cause will help reduce the risk of recurrence and improve the outcome.

Treatment for shoulder impingement syndrome typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and medication. Specific treatment options may include:

      • Rest and Ice: Resting the affected arm and applying ice to the shoulder can help reduce pain and inflammation. Avoiding activities that aggravate the condition is important.

      • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can design an exercise program to help you improve strength and flexibility in the shoulder, as well as correct muscle imbalances. Stretching and strengthening exercises, ultrasound therapy, dry needling, and soft tissue mobilization are some of the techniques that can be used.

      • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe a stronger medication if needed.

      • Corticosteroid injection: In some cases, a doctor may recommend an injection of a corticosteroid medication to help reduce inflammation and pain.

      • Surgery: In severe cases of shoulder impingement, surgery may be recommended to repair or remove damaged tendons or bursa, or to remove bone spurs.

It’s important to note that the recovery time for shoulder impingement can vary depending on the severity of the injury, and some people may require a longer period of time to heal. Treatment may take several weeks or months, and it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and continue with physical therapy to prevent recurrence. It is also important to address the underlying cause, such as poor posture or muscle imbalances, to reduce the risk of recurrence and improve the outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

The foot and ankle in the human body work together to provide balance, stability, movement, and propulsion.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition characterized by compression of the ulnar nerve in an area of the elbow called the cubital tunnel.

The arm in the human body is made up of three bones that join together to form a hinge joint called the elbow. The upper arm bone or humerus connects from the shoulder to the elbow forming the top of the hinge joint. The lower arm or forearm consists of two bones, the radius and the ulna. These bones connect the wrist to the elbow forming the bottom portion of the hinge joint.

 

 

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