Impingement generally happens due to friction on tendons and nerves. Impingement can happen anywhere there is a joint. Some common areas where impingement may occur include the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip.
What Is Shoulder Impingement?
In the case of shoulder impingement, your shoulder blade is rubbing against your rotator cuff. If you’re unfamiliar with rotator cuffs, they consist of a combination of tendons and muscles, which are responsible for shoulder movement.
When there is constant rubbing and pressure between your shoulder blade and rotator cuff, the result is swelling, pain, and irritation. This then leads to pain and weakness.
Shoulder impingement is a common issue among athletes who partake in sports where they are constantly lifting their arms and using their shoulders. Swimmers are one of the athletes who run into shoulder impingement issues quite often. Another name for shoulder impingement is swimmer’s shoulder.
But, shoulder impingement can still happen to other people as well. Anyone who overuses their shoulders daily is prone to shoulder impingement.
Shoulder Impingement Causes
Overuse of the shoulder is the most common cause of impingement, but there may be other causes, too. Some of these causes include:
- Typical wear and tear due to aging
- Injuries to your shoulder or rotator cuff
- Tendonitis (inflammation of tendons)
- Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid sacs that protect your joints)
Shoulder Impingement Symptoms
With these causes, come symptoms. Some symptoms of shoulder impingement to look out for include:
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Pain when lifting your arms over your head
- Swelling and/or tenderness of the shoulder
- Shoulder and arm weakness
Shoulder impingement treatment is always available to help relieve these symptoms and get you back to a pain-free life.
Shoulder Impingement Treatment
Pain management is at the top of the list for shoulder impingement treatment. You’ll start to feel better once your pain is under control. Improving shoulder function is another vital part of shoulder impingement treatment. Some things that will improve your symptoms include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or prescribed anti-inflammatories
- Steroid injections, such as cortisone shots
- Physical therapy sessions
- Surgery (very rare and only for extreme cases)
If you think you have a shoulder impingement, it is best to get in contact with a professional. Call the Orthopedic Associates of Long Island today at 631-689-6698 to set up an appointment and discuss treatment options.