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Seth Utter 05-19-2008 11:40 AM

Shoulder impingement?
What exactly is it and what does it feel like. I've been having some shoulder problems lately, mainly when my arm is above shoulder level. It hurts to shift a little bit in my car, and it hurts when I rotate and lift my arm from the shifter just a few inches to change radio stations.

Any recommendations or remedies I can use to fix this issue?

Steven Low 05-19-2008 05:46 PM

Re: Shoulder impingement?
There's a thread pretty much at the top of the forum on the same topic. You didn't need to make a new one...


Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer 05-19-2008 05:46 PM

Re: Shoulder impingement?
You may find similar problems on some of our shoulder threads. Impingement comes up in several discussions. Steven Low, a gymnast has posted good information on these threads. Check them out. You may be right. There is more info needed to determine if that's your problem. We only share here, and don't diagnose, but, we help eachother in that sharing.

Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer 05-19-2008 05:51 PM

Re: Shoulder impingement?
Thanks for finding it, Steven.

Roderick Henderson 05-19-2008 05:51 PM

Re: Shoulder impingement?
Impingement is a common shoulder problem that occurs when various tissues within the shoulder become trapped or "impinged" on other parts of the shoulder. There are several tissues that become impinged and several different structures that can cause the impingement. Typically folks in their teens through 20's suffer from a different type of impingement than those beyond their 30's.

Because there are so many types of impingement, there are tons of potential causes. Instability, overuse, and degeneration are some of the more common reasons impingement can occur.

The classic sign of an impingement syndrome is a "painful arc" of motion. As you raise your arm overhead (either in front or to the side) you will feel discomfort during part of the motion but not before and after. This often occurs between about 60-120 degrees of motion assuming 180 is your full motion.

Treatment is pretty straightforward during the early stages with relative (not complete) rest and gradual strengthening of the tissues that become involved. These are typically the muscles of the shoulder blade and deep muscles of the shoulder called the rotator cuff. The progression of this activity is largely symptom-dependent.

The best course of action if it isn't getting better is to find a physical therapist who knows what he/she is doing in orthopedics (board-certified) and even better has their CSCS certification. That way they'll have some notion of how to get you where you need to be. Good luck and I hope that helps a little.

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