Shoulder Impingement: Causes and Solutions

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Shoulder impingement is a condition that can be caused by a number of factors, including poor posture and repetitive motions. If left untreated, shoulder impingement can lead to more serious conditions such as rotator cuff tears. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that can help relieve shoulder impingement symptoms.

What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is a condition that can cause significant pain and disability. It occurs when the shoulder joint is not able to move as freely as it should, which puts pressure on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons.

If you are experiencing shoulder impingement symptoms, be sure to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. He or she may recommend specific exercises or stretches that can help relieve the pain.

There are some of the symptoms that may suggest shoulder impingement:

  • Shoulder pain that worsens when you raise your arm
  • Pain that radiates down the arm
  • Tenderness and swelling around the shoulder joint
  • Decreased range of motion in the shoulder joint
  • A feeling of weakness in your shoulder
  • A clicking or popping sensation in your shoulder joint
  • Trouble sleeping because of shoulder pain

What are some causes of shoulder impingement?

There are several potential causes of shoulder impingement, including:

  • Rotator cuff tears or other injuries that limit the range of motion in the shoulder joint
  • Poor posture, which can put stress on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons
  • Heavy use of the arm, such as in athletics or manual labour
  • Thickening of the tissues around the shoulder joint, called swelling or inflammation

What are some solutions for shoulder impingement?

There are several steps that can be taken to reduce pain and improve mobility in cases of shoulder impingement. These include:

  • Rest. When symptoms are present, it is important to rest the arm and avoid any activities that cause pain. This will help to reduce inflammation and allow the rotator cuff muscles and tendons to heal.

  • Ice. Applying ice to the shoulder can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Ice should be applied for 10-15 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day.

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can help to improve the range of motion and strength in the shoulder joint. This will help to reduce pain and improve function.

  • Posture Improvement. Your posture, when you slouch, it puts unnecessary stress on your shoulders, which can lead to impingement. To correct your posture, stand up straight with your shoulders back and down. You may also want to try exercises that strengthen your shoulders and upper back muscles.

  • Limit repetitive motions and take a break. Another solution is to limit the amount of repetitive motions you do. When you do the same motion over and over again, it can cause inflammation and impingement. If you can’t avoid repetitive motions, be sure to take regular breaks and stretch your shoulder muscles.

  • Surgery. In cases where conservative measures have failed, surgery may be necessary to repair tears or other injuries in the rotator cuff muscles and tendons.

Shoulder Impingement Medication

There are a number of medications that can help relieve shoulder impingement symptoms. These include over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as prescription medication for more severe pain such as cortisone injection.

Shoulder Impingement Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying problem. The most common surgical procedure for shoulder impingement is arthroscopic surgery, which is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed using a small camera and instruments inserted through tiny incisions.

Shoulder Impingement Recovery Time

The average recovery time for shoulder impingement is three to six months. The recovery time may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the type of treatment received. More severe cases might take up to a year to heal. However, most people can resume their normal activities after about two to four weeks if they follow the doctor’s orders carefully. Make sure you check in with your doctor on a regular basis so that you don’t overdo it. This may add to your healing period or cause other problems.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of shoulder impingement, it is important to consult with a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to further damage and disability. The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice can help diagnose the cause of your pain and provide you with a treatment plan that will help you get back to your everyday life. They understand that shoulder impingement can be frustrating and exhausting, but there are solutions available. With patience and dedication, you can overcome this condition and return to your normal activities. Contact them today to schedule an appointment and start on the path to relief.