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Old 05-19-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
Roderick Henderson
Member Roderick Henderson is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Huffman  TX
Posts: 10
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.
Roderick Henderson, PT
Physical Therapy and Exercise Blog
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