Shoulder impingement can be a very painful condition that may take some time to fully resolve. The generally accepted definition of shoulder impingement is the trapping of tendons and soft tissue between the humerus and acromion but the root cause can differ from case to case. If you are currently suffering from this condition and looking for some treatment tips, you’ll find what you need below. After discussing the most common causes of shoulder impingement, we take a look at some of the best treatment options.
What causes shoulder impingement syndrome?
Several physical conditions may be classified as shoulder impingement syndrome, including the following:
- A torn or swollen tendon – The main tendon in your shoulder can be damaged through repetitive activities or a sudden, traumatic incident. It is also possible to develop an inflamed or swollen tendon due to chronic, age-related issues.
- Inflamed bursa – Some cases of shoulder impingement may more accurately be diagnosed as bursitis. Bursitis is a condition where the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac between the tendon and the acromion, becomes inflamed, causing the tendon and muscle to press on the adjacent bone.
- Bone spurs – Some people develop spurs on their acromion over time, which is a condition that is normally classified as shoulder impingement. These bone spurs can cause the tendon to become squeezed or trapped.
Whatever the root cause may be, the symptoms of shoulder impingement are usually broadly similar: acute pain when moving the shoulder in question, particularly when trying to lift the associated arm above shoulder height.
Now we can answer the questions ‘What is an impinged shoulder?’, ‘What causes shoulder impingement?’ and ‘What are the main symptoms?’, let’s move on to examine some of the most effective treatment options currently available.
How do you treat a shoulder impingement?
The best way to treat this type of shoulder pain depends on the root cause. If it is determined to be an inflamed bursa or swollen tendon, your healthcare provider may recommend rest, the regular application of ice to the affected area and OTC anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
In the event the root cause of your shoulder impingement is determined to be bone spurs on the acromion, there are a couple of treatment options that may prove to be effective. In mild cases, anti-inflammatory medicines such as those mentioned above may be prescribed. In more severe cases, arthroscopic surgery to reduce or remove the spurs may be the preferred treatment.
The final stage of any successful shoulder impingement treatment should be a period of physical therapy. The team that diagnoses and treats you should be able to provide you with a detailed plan of how to rehabilitate your shoulder: physical therapy, rest and gentle exercise are normally the key components of any well-thought-out rehabilitation plan.
Whether you’re suffering from shoulder impingement or another condition that causes pain in this area, such as office syndrome, please don’t hesitate to contact us.