SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT

Causes & Treatment

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Definition

Shoulder impingement usually occurs because of repeated overhead activity for a long period. In this condition, the rotator cuff muscle of the shoulder is pinched between the outer edge of the shoulder blade and the humerus bone. Rotator cuff muscles are used in overhead activities and move the arm towards or away from the body. Patients are usually complaining of pain and difficulty in overhead movements. Once it is rubbing repeatedly, it gets swelling which leads to narrowing of joint space causing impingement. Shoulder impingement occurs in people who are doing overhead activities like painting, window washing, construction work, moving boxes, playing some sports like tennis, swimming, volleyball, or baseball. It can also happen after a fall on an outstretched arm or age-related wear & tear. Some risk factors can also develop impingement like poor posture, hypo or hypermobility of joint, previous shoulder injuries, and age more than 50.

Early Symptoms

Early symptoms of shoulder impingement are pain and swelling at the shoulder. Patients have difficulty in overhead activities, lifting, putting an arm behind the back, and reaching out. The physiotherapist will initially assess the shoulder joint range of motion, muscle strength, posture, notice which movement is more difficult. 

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