Shoulder impingement syndrome is often characterized by pain in the shoulder when you reach up over your head. It is caused by a narrowing of the area under the shoulder’s acromion.
When the supraspinatus muscle in the shoulder gets compressed, it can become very inflamed and cause a lot of pain.
Sometimes in more severe cases, the bursa of the supraspinatus get inflamed. It is also possible for calcium deposits to develop in the supraspinatus’ tendon.
People who end up suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome often engage in repetitive arm motions that involve reaching and lifting overhead. Extending your arm over your head, especially at high speeds, can lead to this painful condition.
For example, shoulder impingement is common among baseball pitchers. If you are suffering from muscle weakness in other areas, and you increase activity that involves reaching and lifting overhead, this could also lead to shoulder impingement syndrome.
Often times shoulder impingement syndrome begins quite subtly. Unlike something like a pop or a twist, people may experience a more gradual pain and decline in overall arm strength. As time passes, however, shoulder impingement syndrome may become more severe, leading to difficulty lifting things overhead or pain engaging in overhead motions.
Generally rest and ice are used to treat shoulder impingement syndrome along with medications to reduce inflammation. For athletes, physical therapy may be beneficial in order to develop shoulder strength which prevents reoccurrence from shoulder impingement. In more severe cases, some people may consider orthopedic surgery.
Learn more about shoulder pain and treatment for shoulder injuries from Orthopaedic Specialists.