Shoulder Impingement

What is Shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is the condition of inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder joint. It is one of the most common causes of pain in the adult shoulder. The shoulder is a ‘ball-and-socket’ joint. A ‘ball’ at the top of the upper arm bone, and the humerus fits neatly into the ‘socket’, called the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade or “scapula”. Shoulder impingement is also called a swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder, or rotator cuff tendinitis.

Shoulder Impingement

What causes Shoulder impingement?

Shoulder Impingement results from pressure on the rotator cuff from part of the shoulder blade (scapula) as the arm is lifted. It is more likely to occur in young and middle-aged people who engage in physical activities that require repeated overhead arm movements. The pain may be due to a “bursitis” or inflammation of the bursa overlying the rotator cuff or a “tendonitis” of the cuff itself. In some circumstances, a partial tear of the rotator cuff may cause impingement pain.

What are the symptoms of Shoulder impingement?

Individuals with shoulder impingement may experience severe pain at rest and during activities, weakness of the arm and difficulty in raising the hand overhead.

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How do you diagnose Shoulder impingement?

Diagnosis involves physical examination where we check for the possible range of movements with the affected shoulder. X-rays and MRI scans may be ordered to see the injury and inflammation.

How do you treat Shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement can be treated mostly without an operation. Primarily with rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and avoiding the activities involving the shoulder. Physical therapy may be advised to strengthen the muscles and steroid injections may be given if pain persists.

Arthroscopic surgery is recommended if the rotator cuff tendons are torn and to remove the bony spurs along with the inflamed bursa.
Shoulder Impingement Treatment

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