Shoulder impingement can be classified into four types, depending on the site of the structures entrapped:
- Subacromial impingement
- Subcoracoid impingement
- Posterosuperior inner impingement
- Anterosuperior inner impingement
Subacromial impingement is by far the most common. It is generally caused by a dysfunction of the shoulder, where a decreased space between the rotator cuff muscles and the acromion occurs and the muscles are trapped and pinched within the shoulder joint. This is usually seen when the arm is elevated in front or out to the side and can lead to other complications such as bursitis and tendinopathy.
WHAT CAUSES SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT?
Shoulder impingement can occur when the mechanics of the shoulder joint is compromised. This can be from acute, traumatic, repetitive/overuse incidences to which structures of the shoulder are damaged. The ‘impingement’ of the shoulder generally refers when the rotator cuff tendons and/or bursa are compressed within the shoulder joint. When you raise and rotate your arm, the space within the shoulder joint narrows. When this occurs the rotator cuff tendons and/or bursa can be compressed within the shoulder. This creates friction and an increased pressure in the shoulder which leads to impingement symptoms.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT
- Radiating pain going from of front, back, or side of the shoulder and travelling down the arm
- Pinching feeling at the front or side of the shoulder
- Weakness of shoulder
- Sudden pain with lifting and reaching movements
- Decreased range of motion
- Tenderness and pain at the front of the shoulder
- Difficulty sleeping
- General decrease in shoulder function
DIAGNOSING SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT WITH SYDNEY PHYSIOTHERAPY
Shoulder impingement can be well diagnosed by Sydney physiotherapist, who will clinically assess the shoulder and evaluate subjective and objective findings to deduce an accurate diagnosis. If a physiotherapist needs further information, to assist with diagnosis and/or treating your shoulder impingement they may opt for scans such an x-ray which may be used to detect bony changes and an MRI which may be used to assess the quality of tendons supporting the joint.
SYDNEY PHYSIOTHERAPY TREATMENT FOR SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT
Shoulder impingement can be very effectively managed by your trusty Sydney physios. They will assess your lifestyle, posture, shoulder structures and identify the main causes of condition. They will then implement the most effective treatment methods for you.
The main aims of treating shoulder impingement should be to:
- Decrease pain, and improve range of motion of the shoulder.
- Decrease inflammation and promote healing of any potentially damaged structures.
- Improve muscular strength, control and stability surrounding the shoulder
- Prevent the injury recurring.
DON'T PUT UP WITH YOUR SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT
Shoulder impingement can be well treated through rehabilitation exercises, which can promote the healing and recovery of the damaged structures. Our Sydney physiotherapists will assess the extent of your shoulder impingement and design a treatment program specific to alleviating your symptoms and remove the ‘pinching’ in your and restore its function.
If you are looking to free up your shoulder impingement, then please look to visit one of our clinics or sign up for one of our online services for expert advice and treatment.