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Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement is a very common condition among active adults. Like other shoulder injuries, impingement can be extremely painful and greatly limit your daily routine. If you are experiencing difficulty reaching behind your back, weakness in your shoulder, or pain when your arms are lifted above your head, you may have Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Advance Health and Wellness has treatments and therapies available that could provide lasting relief and healing.

Other symptoms of impingement of the shoulder are swelling, redness, localized pain when moving the arm, or pain when the arm is stationary. While it is possible to receive temporary relief from these symptoms by taking over-the-counter or prescribed medications, a shoulder injury will often not heal on its own.

There are many different names for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Subacromial Impingement, Painful Arc Syndrome, Swimmer’s Shoulder, and Thrower’s Shoulder are all names for this injury, caused when the muscles and tendons of the shoulder’s rotator cuff become inflamed and irritated. This happens when these muscles rub excessively against the top of the shoulder blade due to excessive and repetitive overhead arm movement.

The rotator cuff, (the tendons and muscles we use to lift our arms), is positioned between the arm bone and the top of the shoulder, explaining the location of the pain you feel. In most parts of our bodies, our bones are covered by muscles. This is not the case in our shoulders. In fact, the exact opposite is true, because the tendons and muscles are surrounded by bone. You can feel this difference simply by touching your shoulder and feeling the bone directly under the skin. In contrast, if you touch a bone in your leg, you will most likely feel the layers of muscle surrounding it. This unique make up helps our shoulders do their jobs efficiently, but it can also cause agitation and specific types of painful, and common, injuries.

Athletes such as swimmers, pitchers, basketball or tennis players, weightlifters, or rowers run a higher risk of being affected by Shoulder Impingement. However, anyone using their arms above their head for an extended period of time or repetitively can experience this type of injury. Those working in jobs like carpentry or construction are also at risk. Additionally, anyone doing home improvement projects like painting, especially tall walls and ceilings, can injure themselves in this way.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome can also result from another injury or aging, affecting those over the age of 60 most frequently. It is important to note that given the nature of the injury, and due to its correlation to physical activity, age is not always a contributing factor. Younger people suffering from the aforementioned symptoms should not dismiss them. Ignoring the problem for too long can actually make it far worse.

Though you can receive temporary relief by taking pain medication, those prescribed for shoulder pain can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. There are no risks or side effects involved in seeking a consultation, however. A consultation from our practice can determine the cause of your pain, and hopefully help relieve and heal your injury.