Shoulder Impingement Specialist
Shoulder Impingement Treatment in Eastern Tennessee
What is Shoulder Impingement?
Shoulder impingement happens when the top, outer part of your shoulder blade, called the acromion, rubs against (“impinges on”) or pinches your rotator cuff underneath it, causing pain and irritation.
Shoulder Impingement Symptoms
Symptoms for this shoulder condition include but are not limited to:
- Pain when your arms are above your head
- You feel pain when you raise or lower your arm, or when you reach for something
- The front of your shoulder hurts and is sensitive
- Pain that goes from the front of your shoulder to the side of your arm
- Pain when laying on the affected side
- You have pain or aches at night, which makes it hard to sleep
- Pain when you reach behind your back for something, like your back pocket
- Weakness and stiffness in the shoulder and/or arm
What Causes Shoulder Impingement?
The tendon for your rotator cuff goes through a space below the acromion, which is the point of bone that comes off the top of the back side of your shoulder blade. At your shoulder, it meets the end of your neck bone, and when the muscle rubs up against the acromion, this is called impingement.
Pain in the rotator cuff is common in both young athletes and people in their 40s and 50s. Young people who swim, play baseball, or play tennis with their arms up are especially at risk.
People who do things like hanging paper, building, or drawing that require them to lift or move their arms over their heads repeatedly, are also at risk.
Shoulder Impingement Treatment
When it comes to treatment, the goal is to relieve the pain and get your shoulder to work better again. Some treatments include:
- Activity changes – Avoid activities that may irritate the shoulder or make symptoms worse
- Rest and ice – Ice should be applied once or twice a day for 20 minutes
- Physical therapy – This is the most important treatment for this condition. You will learn stretching and strengthening exercises to improve strength and motion in your shoulder
- Medications – Over-the-counter pain and inflammation relievers like Ibuprofen can be used to help as needed
- Injections – For more severe pain, steroid injections can be used to help temporarily relieve pain and swelling of the bursa in the shoulder
- Surgery – Shoulder surgery is the last option to consider if the nonsurgical treatments don’t relieve your pain and other symptoms. There are many surgical options to treat this condition
Shoulder Impingement Care in Knoxville
Shoulder impingement is more likely to happen to people who are physically active or who have other health problems. It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible so that it works well and quickly. Call TOC at (865)690-4861 to set up an appointment for a consultation with one of our physicians at any of our locations today.
Our Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeons
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If you feel like you are having pain in your rotator cuff, it’s important to speak to your physician to confirm that is the issue before obtaining treatment.