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Do I have a shoulder impingement? How to tell:

May 09, 2022

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Shoulder impingement tends to happen in athletes or middle-aged adults who participate in activities that rely heavily on the shoulders. Here are some ways to tell if you have a shoulder impingement.

When you have shoulder impingement, the rotator cuff rubs against or catches on the acromion - the bone at the top of your shoulder. This causes shoulder pain and weakness, especially when you lift your arm overhead or backward. 

Shoulder impingement tends to happen in athletes or middle-aged adults who participate in activities that rely heavily on the shoulders. You’re more likely to have a shoulder impingement if you have had a history of shoulder issues. Common activities include:

  • Weight lifting
  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Painting
  • Construction
  • Swimming
  • Warehouse work

The rotator cuff holds your upper arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. The bursa is a lubricating sac located in-between the rotator cuff that reduces friction and helps with movement. Shoulder impingement is closely related to other shoulder conditions, including rotator cuff tendinitis and bursitis.

In fact, these conditions may occur at the same time. Signs of shoulder impingement include:

  • Pain when lifting your arm above your head
  • Pain when lifting your arm forward or laterally
  • Pain running down your arm
  • Shoulder soreness

When diagnosing a shoulder impingement, we carefully review your symptoms, range of motion, and medical history. Then imaging tests are sometimes taken to rule out other conditions such as arthritis.

Most cases of shoulder impingement improve with non-surgical treatment. The team at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics creates a treatment plan tailored to your specific activity level. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment for shoulder impingement may include:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Regenerative medicine, such as PRP therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy

If your shoulder pain and symptoms persist despite treatment, you may need surgery. The expert surgeons at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics can perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery or, in some complex cases, open surgery. To find relief from shoulder impingement syndrome, call Garden State Pain & Orthopedics or book an appointment online today.

 

 

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