The Orthopedic Blog

What is Shoulder Impingement

Posted on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

What is Shoulder Impingement 

Shoulder impingement disorder is a common condition that affects many people. It is often diagnosed in different athletes and senior citizens. This disorder can occur on its own or in combination with other shoulder injuries, such as a tear in the rotator cuff. If a person injures his shoulder, it is vital that he consults a doctor immediately to find out if there are any associated injuries or complications.  shoulder impingement

Symptoms of Shoulder Disorder

Common symptoms of this particular shoulder disorder include pain when performing any overhead activities, difficulty in reaching for items behind the back, and weakness in the shoulder muscles. When a person injures his shoulder and it is left untreated for quite some time, it can eventually lead to tears, known as rotator cuff tears. This can lead to difficulty in elevating the injured arm and without proper treatment, he can lose his shoulder motion and function. Furthermore, without treatment, this injury can also cause rupture in the bicep.

Diagnosis of Shoulder Disorder

A diagnosis is normally made after a doctor runs several vital tests that typically include the following:

  • Asks a number of questions pertinent to the patient’s medical history
  • Proceeds with a physical exam
  • Orders some X-ray tests to rule out arthritis and to view any changes in the shoulder bone that signify the injury

During this time, the doctor may see bone spurs or changes in his patient’s normal shoulder bone contour. Shoulder impingement disorder is often determined after the doctor injects anesthetic into his patient’s shoulder and he (the patient) experiences a good amount of relief from the pain.

Treatment for Shoulder Disorder

Shoulder impingement disorder treatment normally begins right after the doctor diagnoses the disorder. Treatments include taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and/or naxproxen, as these medications help a lot with alleviating inflammation and pain. To ensure that these medications are effectual, a patient may be asked to take them for a period of at least 8 weeks. Daily warm showers or baths are also advisable to help relief the pain.

For more information about shoulder impingement, please do not hesitate to call us at 646-593-7305 or click the following link and we will call you right back. 


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Topics: shoulder impingement