Understanding Shoulder Pain and Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement is a very common cause of generalized shoulder pain. The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body which also makes it the most unstable one Comprised of the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collar bone) it connects the upper arm to rest of the body. The primary joint of the shoulder is a ball and socket joint known as the glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral joint is made up of the articulation of the humeral head and a shallow socket called the glenoid fossa. Due to the shallowness of the glenoid and the high degree of motion in the shoulder it relies of a number of muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue structures to bind it together and keep it stable. Located throughout the shoulder are multiple bursa that act as buffers to prevent friction between tendonis and bony structures which in turn leads me into our topic of discussion. 

Shoulder impingement is one common cause of generalized shoulder pain. This condition occurs when the bursa that lies between the supraspinatus tendon and the acromion or the hooked shaped part of the scapula an area known as the subacromial space becomes inflamed. This can results in pain in the side of the upper arm which becomes sharp with OH motions, reaching behind back, and pain with reaching out the side of the body. Weakness can be noted with rotation of the shoulder particularly with external rotation, a motion needed to reach up and scratch the back of your head. Impingement syndrome can often be diagnosed throughout a series a special tests and not always requires the use of an x-ray or MRI.

Studies have shown that conservative management of shoulder impingement such as with physical therapy can resolve the problem in 70-90% of patients. If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of shoulder impingement please feel free to contact the staff at Elite Physical Therapy to schedule an evaluation.  

If you are experiencing any kind of shoulder pain or have been diagnosed with impingement syndrome, contact us for a free consultation.  To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:

Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Shelbyville: 931-684-0027
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care.  Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.

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