Injuries Unpacked #1: Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

In the first of our Injuries Unpacked series, we are taking a look at one of the injuries we see a lot of in the clinic: shoulder impingement syndrome.


What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is when the space where the rotator cuff tendons in your shoulder decreases which causes structures in your shoulder to rub against each other. If this rubbing occurs over a period of time, pain will start to be felt. Impingement can occur in different parts of the shoulder and cause different symptoms to be experienced.

How is shoulder impingement caused?

Causes of shoulder impingement can be varied and can occur for several reasons usually related to the muscles used and position around the shoulder. These can include rotator cuff muscle overuse, poor muscle control, poor posture during certain activities or a tight shoulder capsule.

Symptoms of shoulder impingement

  • Pain when lifting arm to shoulder height and higher over head
  • Pain when lying on shoulder at night

How will a physio diagnose shoulder impingement?

A physio will assess how your shoulder and arm is moving as well as look at how strong the muscles around your shoulder are. There are several special tests a physio can also perform which will help diagnose your injury.

How will my shoulder be treated?

Treatment will involve looking at the biomechanics of your shoulder to find out why the impingement is occurring.

Experiencing the symptoms of shoulder impingement? Get in touch with the clinic today, to book in with one of our experienced physiotherapists.