What is Shoulder Impingement? It is a common cause of shoulder pain that occurs when the tendons or bursa in the shoulder are pinned by the bones ofthe shoulder.
What causes it? When the arm is raised, the subacromial space (through which the supraspinatus muscle tendon passes) narrows. Anything that causes further narrowing has the tendency to impinge the tendon and cause an inflammatory response, resulting in impingement syndrome.
What are the symptoms? A persistent pain coupled with difficulty in reaching up behind the back or reaching up overhead are common symptoms of shoulder impingement.
Treatments: Oral anti-inflammatory medications — such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen, remain the most common treatmentfor impingement syndrome. Stretching and joint mobilization have also been shown to improve impingement syndrome symptoms.
Stretches & Exercises
- Shoulder flexion and abduction stretch: For flexion, rest your affected shoulder’s hand on a counter or table as pictured to the front of your body. Lean toward the table/counter allowing your hand to slide across increasing the range of motion at your shoulder. For abduction, do the same except with your arm to the side. Perform each stretch 3 times, holding each one for 30 seconds.
- Scapular depression: Sitting with your elbows straight and your shoulder blade back, push down into a firm surface. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat 15 times, holding each for 5 seconds.