Shoulder Impingement Treatment

Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder are overused or injured, causing pain and movement problems. Normally, tendons of the shoulder glide easily between two bones when we lift our arms over our heads or perform activities like swimming. With shoulder impingement, a muscle tendon is compressed against the bone, causing pain.

What causes shoulder impingement?

Muscle weakness may be the cause of shoulder impingement as the rotator cuff muscles, which are supposed to pull the arm bone (humerus) down so it can clear freely underneath the top of the shoulder, can’t do their primary job of controlling the humerus. Another contributor may be muscle imbalances between the chest and the back, common among swimmers, which cause the shoulder to move forward in position, leading to poor alignment and improper head posture. Poor posture affects the position of the shoulder and limits the space it has to move. Poor spinal mobility or faulty body mechanics may also contribute to a shoulder impingement.

When should I seek treatment for shoulder impingement?

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or having problems easily moving the shoulder in a normal fashion, it’s a good idea to seek out treatment in order to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

How can physical therapy help with shoulder impingement?

Your physical therapist will conduct a full evaluation to assess the causes of the shoulder impingement and to implement the appropropriate treatment to decrease pain and improve function. They may include a variety of techniques in your treatment plan, such as:

• Manual therapy techniques to help to get your shoulder moving properly through gentle joint movements, soft-tissue massage, and shoulder stretches.
• Custom exercises to improve rotator cuff strength and to address muscle weakness.
• Joint mobilizations to address stiff spinal joints and to improve the range of motion in your shoulder.

Physical therapists can provide the necessary tools to treat shoulder impingement syndrome, allowing you to return to your favorite activities pain-free and better than ever! To learn more about shoulder impingement or to eliminate any current discomfort, book a physical therapy assessment today.

“The team at Therapydia provide a very positive and informative experience. I had shoulder pain during and after my workouts. My physical therapist worked with me and explained why I was having the pain, then gave me exercises to improve my mobility. After a couple of weeks, the pain was gone and hasn’t returned.”

-Brett C.

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