Shoulder pain - You may have Shoulder Impingement?



Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Do you have pain in the shoulder when you lift up your arm? If you do, you may suffer from shoulder impingement syndrome. It could be very painful if it doesn't get fixed!


What is it?

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common source of pain in the shoulder. It is when your rotator cuff tendons and/or bursa (A fluid sac that allows tendons to glide on bones smoothly) are compressed during overhead movements. Constant trapping of those structures may lead to more severe injury such as shoulder bursitis or rotator cuff tendinopathy or tear. This condition could result in pain during shoulder elevation movement, restrictions of range of motion and weakness of the rotator cuff muscles. 


*Rotator cuff muscles consist of 4 muscles. Supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. They support the shoulder by providing stability of the humeral head and they aid shoulder movements. 


Who is at risk of suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome? 

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common source of pain in the shoulder. The population that are at risk the most are:

  • Athletes who performs repeated overhead movements such as swimming, volleyball, weight lifting or any throwing sport 

  • Occupations that requires repeated overhead lifting above shoulder height

  • Elderly patients who had a fall due to degeneration of the tendon


How do we treat it?

Firstly we perform a thorough assessment to find out the source of injury and deload the shoulder. Try to avoid overhead movements as much as possible to allow the tendon to rest. After that we will perform manual therapy to reduce pain and prescribe evidence based exercises to restore shoulder movements and strength. 


In conclusion:

Shoulder impingement can be painful. Physiotherapy can definitely assist with the condition. According to the article by Steuri et al. (2017), manual therapy and exercise prescription were the most effective treatment in improving pain, function and active range of motion in comparison to other management such as no exercising, NSAIDS or using other medication.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of shoulder pain. To find out more about how we can help you, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.



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Written by Willis


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