The Orthopedic Blog

How Do I Know If I Have Shoulder Impingement

Posted on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 @ 09:02 AM

How Do I Know If I Have Shoulder Impingement 

One of the common causes of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement syndrome. It happens when there is impingement of the bursa or tendons in the shoulder from the bones connected to it. Repeated overhead activity of the shoulder is deemed as a risk factor that contributes to this particular syndrome. Overhead activities of the shoulder include swimming, lifting, painting, tennis, and many more. Two other risk factors are joint and bone abnormalities.  shoulder impingement

With shoulder impingement syndrome, pain can be very persistent and it influences daily activities. Shoulder motions, for instance reaching up overhead or behind to put on a blouse or a shirt can cause severe pain.

Symptoms of Shoulder Syndrome

General symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome include pain with overhead usage of the arm, weakness in the shoulder muscles, and difficulty in reaching up or behind the back. If the tendons in the shoulder were injured for an extended amount of time, they can eventually tear in two and result in rotator cuff tears. When this happens, it can cause extreme weakness and make it impossible for the injured person to lift his arm. A large number of individuals could experience a rupture in their biceps muscles as part of this syndrome process.

How is this Syndrome Diagnosed?

A physician will normally begin the diagnosis of shoulder impingement by asking questions about his patient’s medical history and the physical exam. To rule out arthritis, X-rays will be conducted. In addition, they can help to show any changes in the bone that may indicate injury of the shoulder muscle. Changes or bone spurs in the contour of the shoulder bone may also be present.

How is this Syndrome Commonly Treated?

In order to treat this syndrome, physicians will advise their patients to take oral anti-inflammatory medications, for instance naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. These medications are said to be able to treat the condition and help relieve pain and swelling.

Medications are normally prescribed and taken for a period of at least six to eight weeks; because that is the length of time, it takes to treat the shoulder impingement syndrome fully. It is advisable that patients follow their physicians’ instructions carefully, as the medications can cause bleeding and stomach irritation at times.

Physicians often advise their patients that there are no preferred medications for this syndrome, because response to any provided medication varies from patient to patient. If a particular anti-inflammatory medicine does not help within two weeks, then the physician will prescribe another medication for his patient until a certain medication type provides adequate relief.

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Topics: shoulder impingement