Shoulder Impingement

Introduction

There are different types of shoulder impingement, with the most common one occurring when the tendons of the rotator cuff bump into or are pinched by the acromion, which is the bone at the top of the shoulder. As a result, the rotator cuff tendons become inflamed and painful. The space above the tendons, the bursa, can also become inflamed.

The cause of this injury is often overuse or due to repetitive motion to the shoulder joint. Pain can also occur if there have been previous minor injuries to the afflicted area. This injury is commonly seen in athletes such as swimmers, baseball players, or tennis players, but is also common as the result of regular daily and work activities. Certain people have an acromion with a curved or hooked shape, which leaves them susceptible to this condition. 

Symptoms consist of pain, loss of motion, and weakness in the arm. Pain will often be felt in the front or side of the shoulder and may radiate down the arm or up towards the neck. Losing strength or motion in the arm can create difficulty in basic daily activities.

© 2017 St. Charles Orthopedics