What is shoulder impingement syndrome?


Shoulder impingement syndrome is caused by the rotator cuff pressing on the humerus and the top outer border of your shoulder in a vicious cycle. It happens when the acromion, the upper outer edge of the shoulder blade, pushes against or pinches the rotator cuff beneath it, creating pain and irritation. The rubbing causes swelling and a constriction of the area, resulting in pain and irritation.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome :

The first signs and symptoms may be minor and people often don’t seek help at this stage. These signs and symptoms could include:

  1. Minor aches and pains that occur throughout both activity and relaxation
  2. Radiating pain down the side of the arm from the front of the shoulder
  3. Lifting and reaching actions cause sudden pain.
  4. When tossing or serving a tennis ball, athletes in overhead sports may experience pain.

Symptoms become more severe as the situation worsens:

  1. Nighttime discomfort
  2. Loss of motion and strength
  3. Having trouble executing actions that require you to put your arm behind your back, such as buttoning or zippering.

How is Shoulder Impingement diagnosed :

Your doctor will first examine your shoulder if you have Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. You will be examined to determine where you are experiencing pain and soreness. Your doctor will also ask you to move your arm in different directions to test your range of motion. Your doctor may also ask you to press against their hand to assess the strength of your shoulder joint. They may also examine your neck for illnesses that cause symptoms similar to rotator cuff tendonitides, such as a pinched nerve or arthritis.

To confirm the diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis and rule out any other reasons for your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe imaging studies. An X-ray may be required to determine whether or not you have a bone spur. An ultrasound or MRI scan of your rotator cuff may be ordered by your doctor to check for inflammation and symptoms of tears.

Treatment of shoulder impingement syndrome :

Impingement syndrome is most commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen. Because it takes six to eight weeks to fully treat a disease, the drugs are usually administered for that length of time. Because the reaction to any given medicine varies from person to person, there is no preferred medication for this illness. If one anti-inflammatory medicine does not provide relief after 10 to 14 days, another will be prescribed until one does.

Stretching every day in a warm shower, in addition to taking drugs, will help. You should try to reach up and behind your back with your thumb. Avoid doing repetitive motions with your injured arm, especially ones that require the elbow to move above shoulder level. Your doctor might send you to a physical therapist who can show you the best exercises for strengthening and stretching your shoulder muscles.

 If your symptoms persist despite taking anti-inflammatory medications, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine that should only be used when absolutely required, as it can weaken muscles and tendons if used frequently.

Your doctor may order an ultrasound, MRI, or arthrogram to rule out a rotator cuff injury if your symptoms persist or if you have considerable weakness. If the cuff is torn, surgery to repair it may be required. The vast majority of persons with impingement syndrome respond well to medication, stretching exercises, and a brief avoidance of repetitive overhead activities until the disease improves.

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