Shoulder Impingement is something that is quite common just due to the nature of the shoulder joint. Considering that it is one of the most mobile joints in the entire body providing a large degree of movement in the 3 planes to varying degrees of involvement. Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement typically appear while your arm is elevated above your shoulder. This is due to the general structure of the shoulder joint and because it is so mobile that there is a higher possibility that soft tissues can become “impinged” between the skeletal structures. This is fairly common because there are a few different types or ways in which the Acromion process (muscular and ligament attachment point) develops. Some of these ways can cause people to become more prone to this type of pain. The good news is that this is treatable and manageable.
As you can see above, the Acromion is very close to the top of your arm and can lead to different soft tissues being pinched during activities with overhead arm movements. This can lead to one form of a rotator cuff tear which we typically hear of often and will be the topic of next weeks blog!
Treatment: Typical treatment of this type of injury includes ice, rest, gentle adjustments, therapeutic ultrasound, limiting movement, pain relief/NSAID suggestions from a Medical Doctor, and can reach a point where a steroid injection is necessary. As you can see there are more conservative options available if this issue is identified before too much damage has been caused. One of the big aspects to keep under control is the inflammation, this is because it is an issue that is made worse when there is reduced space to move and inflammation reduces said space.
Thanks for reading, and check back next week when we talk about Rotator Cuff tears!