- Impingement refers to the mechanical compression and/or wear of the rotator cuff tendons.
- The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis are the four muscles that that attach your scapula (shoulder blade) to the humeral head, which is the upper portion of the shoulder joint. These four muscles make up the "Rotator Cuff."
- These four rotator cuff muscles play the vital role of maintaining the humeral head within the joint socket with overhead arm activity.
- When these muscles are working properly, the tendons will glide smoothly under the bone at the top of the shoulder.
- Any process that interrupts this normal gliding function may lead to impingement.
How does it happen?
- Keeping the arm in the same position for long periods of time. For example when drying or styling your hair or playing on a computer.
- Prolonged overhead activity such as painting or mechanical work.
- Activities such as swimming and throwing.
- Sleeping on the same arm every night, especially if positioned overhead.
- Poor control or coordination of the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles
- Poor strength of the shoulder blade muscles
- Weakening and/or degeneration of the tendons secondary to aging
- Formation of bone spurs within the joint space
- From overuse injuries commonly seen in tennis players and baseball pitchers.
Signs and Symptoms...
- The most common symptoms in impingement syndrome are pain, weakness and a loss of movement of the affected shoulder.
- The pain is often worsened with overhead movement and can occur at night, especially if the patient is lying on the affected shoulder.
- Other symptoms can include a grinding or popping sensation during movement of the shoulder.
- Pain may radiate down to the elbow.
Having some trouble with your shoulder, but not quite sure if it could be impingement? Call or stop into one of our locations for an Injury Screening.