What is shoulder impingement?
Pain in the shoulder is the third most common complaint among orthopedic patients. Often, it is caused by a rotator cuff defect or impingement syndrome. If your shoulder pain has been diagnosed as shoulder impingement, this blog is for you! Shoulder Impingement is the pain caused by the connective tissue repeatedly rubbing on the shoulder blade. This pain usually arises from the tip of the shoulder passing down to the upper arm. Pain usually occurs when the arm is halfway to overhead. A person with impingement syndrome may not be able to lift the arm or use it with any force. This is also called ‘Subacromial Impingement’.
Who is prone to shoulder impingement?
Mostly those who are involved in sports activities like swimming, tennis, volleyball, and basketball are prone to developing this condition. This could also happen to someone facing an injury after a fall on their shoulders. Poor posture and rounding your shoulders also can lead to this.
What causes shoulder impingement?
Shoulder joints are ball-and-socket joints that are very flexible. Several bones make up the shoulder blade: the scapula, the humerus, and the clavicle. These bones are connected by muscles, which permit shoulder movement. One of them is the supraspinatus muscle, which lies in a depression on top of your shoulder blade. As part of this muscle’s tendon, a fluid-filled sac called a bursa( to reduce friction) travels through a narrow tunnel called subacromial space. Impingement occurs if this area becomes inflamed or thickened.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain in the arms when extended above your head.
- A painful sensation when lying on the affected side.
- Pain associated with attempting to reach into or zip up a pocket behind your back.
- Shoulder stiffness and weakness.
How is shoulder impingement treated?
Posture is the key. Do not hunch or round your shoulders. Maintain a long neck and a back that is straight, regardless of your activity. Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help reduce pain and ease movement. But nothing helps as much as physiotherapy when it comes to treating physiotherapy. Study findings from 2014 reported that patients treated with physiotherapy had fewer episodes of shoulder impingement syndrome and required fewer visits to their doctor on average one year after the initial injury. Often, patients who received injections needed additional injections for impingement.
A primary treatment strategy for shoulder impingements over the past decade has been physiotherapy. We adhere to the successful treatment protocols prescribed by recent studies that include manipulation and low-level Laser, as these treatments appear to be the most effective of the various physiotherapy techniques. At River Physio, you will also go through a structured rehab program to resolve the problem completely. After assessment, once we establish the diagnosis, we will prescribe impingement programs in three phases of exercises. Proper adherence of these exercise programs always results in successful rehabilitation