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Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement

What is Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome is a condition in which your rotator cuff is rubbed between the humerus and the shoulder blade. The more the tissue is rubbed, the more it swells and fills the space, causing even more friction and becoming painful.

Causes and Diagnosis of Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome can be caused by bone spurs that grow either on the end of the humerus or on the top part of the shoulder blade, known as the acromion. It can also be caused by an injury to the rotator cuff, which swells in the small space it occupies. The swollen tissue rubs against the bones, which causes more swelling and pain.

At Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, we can perform a physical examination to help determine whether you’re suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome. We also may request an MRI or an x-ray to check for rotator cuff tear or other injuries, as well as to check for arthritis or bone spurs.

Treatment of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Treatment mainly involves physical therapy, ice, pain medications, and rest. Patients are encouraged not to do activities that involve much shoulder movement or strain, particularly where the arms are lifted over the head. A physical therapist will work with you to create a routine that will strengthen your rotator cuff and shoulder without adding to the inflammation.

Anti-inflammatories will be suggested to help deal with your pain. In most cases, over-the-counter medication is enough to do the job. Patients will also need to ice the shoulder at least twice a day.

In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary if other treatment methods have little to no effect.

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