Impingement syndrome is a condition of the shoulder that causes the four tendons that make up the rotator cuff to become inflamed. The muscles that attach to these tendons also swell. Because the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff are surrounded by bone, when they become inflamed and swollen, it creates pressure in the tissues that causes the muscles to fray. When this series of events occurs, the resulting condition is called impingement syndrome. Impingement is very similar to rotator cuff tendinitis and the conditions often occur together but can in some cases occur individually.

What Are The Symptoms of Impingement Syndrome?

The most common symptom of impingement syndrome is increased pain with any overhead activity. Night pain is also common and typically those with the syndrome will experience weakness. Occasionally, there will be a decrease in range of motion, but this is more commonly the result of frozen shoulder. If there is pain, numbness, and tingling, you may also be experiencing a pinched nerve in the neck. Prolonged injury to the muscles can eventually cause a rotator cuff tear and eventually a rupture of the biceps muscle. Without proper treatment from a professional and experienced chiropractor, the condition can become much worse requiring more invasive treatment methods including surgery.  

What Causes Impingement Syndrome?

Impingement syndrome is caused by compression to the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff and the bursa, which is the fluid that cushions the joint. The compression is a result of a bone projection from the shoulder blade. When the arm is lifted, this projection puts pressure on the tissues underneath and causes the pain and limited motion of impingement syndrome. The impingement of these tissues can cause bursitis, which occurs from the inflammation of the bursa. Or, it can cause tendinitis, which is the inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and muscles.  

Overhead activity and repetitive arm movements are usually the underlying cause. Athletes such as swimmers, volleyball players, and tennis players are often at high risk for impingement syndrome. Also workers who repeatedly use overhead motion such as carpenters or painters will often experience the condition. Accidents and trauma can also result in impingement syndrome. For example, falling on an outstretched hand or landing on the shoulder may increase the likelihood of an impingement injury.

Treating Impingement Syndrome

For minor cases of impingement syndrome, a combination of anti-inflammatory medication with stretching exercise and the reduction in activities that cause the syndrome can treat the condition effectively. Physical therapy is commonly implemented including strengthening exercises. In more serious cases and when more serious issues such as a tear have occurred, surgery may be required. Most cases however can be resolved without the need for surgical treatment.

Accelerate Chiropractic can help!

Accelerate Chiropractic knows the symptoms of impingement syndrome. Our specialists are fully equipped to provide you with treatment to eliminate or improve the condition as soon as possible. Dr. Dave Yancey and Dr. Erika Yancey are passionate about providing treatment that allows you to continue your lifestyle in full and resolve your impingement syndrome condition. Learn about our experience and contact us today to schedule your personalized consultation. It’s time to reclaim the freedom that comes with mobility and comfort through Accelerate Chiropractic’s care.
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