Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement, also referred to as swimmer's shoulder, is a painful condition that occurs when the edge of your shoulder blade rubs – or impinges on – your rotator cuff. You use this muscle to help raise your arm over your head and turn your arm towards and away from your body.

Individuals with shoulder impingement often experience pain, tenderness and the inability to fully move the shoulder joint. Pain or weakness is particularly noticeable when your arm is raised above your head or away from the side of the body. Some will also experience catching or grating of the muscles and difficulty sleeping because of the pain.

Common treatments include:

Initial treatment for shoulder impingement is focused on reducing pain and restoring function. As with other conditions that are caused by inflammation or swelling, first line treatments include:

  • Icing the affected area for 20 minutes, twice a day
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the joint
  • Cortisone injections
  • Activity modification or avoiding movements that cause pain

When all non-surgical treatments are ineffective at relieving pain, minimally invasive procedures are available to relieve pressure and create more space for the rotator cuff. This is done by removing the inflamed part of the bursa or the bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. In some cases, other shoulder issues can be addressed at the time of surgery.

Why Choose NGPG?

Part of providing effective treatment is understanding what’s important to you – your activity levels, aches and pains, and your specific orthopedic injury. NGPG Sports Medicine’s highly trained specialists use the most up-to-date methods of treatment – helping you recover quickly from the ongoing pain or discomfort from an overuse or sports-related injury. We’re dedicated to ongoing education and training and use innovative non-surgical techniques were possible to get you moving again.

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