Understanding Shoulder Impingement

Understanding Shoulder Impingement

Understanding Shoulder Impingement


Shoulder impingement syndrome, also known as rotator cuff tendonitis or swimmer's shoulder, is a common condition that occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become pinched or compressed within the shoulder joint. It can be caused by various factors such as repetitive overhead activities, aging, or anatomical abnormalities. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty in performing daily activities. In this blog post, we will discuss the common causes of shoulder impingement and the effective treatments available to alleviate its symptoms.


1. Common Causes of Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement can develop due to several reasons. Repetitive overhead activities such as throwing a ball, swimming, or weightlifting can cause wear and tear of the rotator cuff tendons, leading to inflammation and swelling. Aging can also cause degeneration of the tendon, making it more susceptible to injury. Anatomical abnormalities such as bone spurs or a hooked acromion (the bony projection above the shoulder) can narrow the subacromial space and compress the tendons, causing impingement.

2. Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

The symptoms of shoulder impingement can vary depending on its severity. Common signs include pain in the shoulder or upper arm, especially when lifting objects or reaching overhead. The pain may also worsen at night, making it difficult to sleep. Weakness in the shoulder muscles, with a decreased range of motion, can also be indicators of impingement.

3. Effective Treatments for Shoulder Impingement

There are various treatments available for shoulder impingement depending on the extent of the injury. In mild cases, treatments such as rest, ice therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate the pain and inflammation. Physical therapy can help strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve flexibility. Steroid injections can also be useful in reducing inflammation. In cases of severe or chronic impingement, surgical intervention such as arthroscopy may be required to remove the damaged tissues.

4. Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure, and this holds for shoulder impingement. To reduce the risk of developing impingement, it's essential to avoid repetitive overhead activities or to use proper technique while performing such tasks. Maintaining good posture and adequate shoulder strength through regular exercise can also help prevent impingement and other shoulder injuries.

5. Seek Professional Help

If you suffer from shoulder impingement or any other shoulder pain, it's essential to seek professional help from an orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, or a healthcare provider. They can evaluate the extent of the injury and suggest appropriate treatments or exercises to alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence.



Shoulder impingement can cause significant pain and discomfort, affecting our daily lives. Understanding its causes and symptoms is vital to seek appropriate medical help. With the right treatment and preventive measures, we can recover from shoulder impingement and minimize the risk of future shoulder injuries. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for a comprehensive evaluation and effective treatment options.