Shoulder Impingement

If you’ve taken your dog on hikes, I’m sure you have experienced shoulder pains similar to this guy. In this week’s blog post we are going to talk about one of the common causes of shoulder pain- Impingement!

Shoulders are such a fascinating joint. It is a ball and socket joint between the Humerus (upper arm bone) and the Scapula (shoulder blade). This, alongside a multitude of important structures nearby give us our functional upper limbs. What makes it so fascinating is that structurally speaking the socket is so shallow that there is almost no bony support! This means that the strength of the joint comes from the ligaments, muscles and other connective tissue surrounding. In our day to day life we may perform activities which push the shoulder too far out of its comfort zone resulting in a painful shoulder. 

What Is Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is a closing down of the space around/within the shoulder.  The two most common cases are from inflammation and/or posture. When this space is closed down and the shoulder is meant to move, it can become quite painful and restricted.

What can be done about it?

If the cause is inflammatory then a period of rest or reduction in loading is necessary to help calm the tissue down, allowing the space to be restored. Postural control and strength exercises can be utilised to build up the functional capacity of the shoulder joint. This is the least invasive option, compared to other therapies available such as corticosteroid injections and surgeries, and recent studies have found that it is the most successful outcome.

How long can I expect treatment to take?

Depending on how active you are and the extent of postural change required, you can expect about 6-10 weeks for full recovery.

What happens within our treatments?

The treatments will work on:

  • Restoring the full range of motion within the shoulder joint
  • Developing scapular stability in order to create a strong base for movements
  • Developing strength within the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles

We will utilize SCENAR, dry needling and other manual therapies in order to restore function and reduce pain quickly.

Can anything else help me?

Some adjunct therapies/products that may help in your treatment of shoulder impingement include posture pro, theractive, therabands, and shoulder pulleys.


Too long, didn’t read? 

Shoulder impingement is the closing down of the space within your shoulder.  A proper graded exercise program and posture protocol can set you up for strong, functional, and healthy shoulders for a long time to come.