About Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Shoulder impingement occurs when the top outer edge of your shoulder blade, called the acromion, rubs against (“impinges on”) or pinches your rotator cuff beneath it, causing pain and irritation. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that come together as tendons to form a covering around the head of the humerus which is the bone of the upper arm. The rotator cuff attaches the humerus to the shoulder blade and helps to lift and rotate your arm. When your rotator cuff is irritated or injured, it swells in much the same way your ankle does when it is sprained. However, because your rotator cuff is surrounded by bone, swelling reduces the amount of space around the rotator cuff, leading to rubbing and worsening pain.
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Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Shoulder impingement syndrome usually presents as shoulder pain with a limited range of motion and potential weakness. Pain is usually worse when trying to reach above your head or lift your arm outward. If shoulder pain persists, reducing inflammation is almost always necessary, which can be accomplished with injection therapy or oral medications. Our specialists at Ospina Medical will create a personalized treatment plan to address your shoulder complaints and get you back to living your life.
How Is Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Diagnosed?
Shoulder impingement syndrome is diagnosed by one of our specialists at the Ospina Medical office in Manhattan, NY and may include a series of tests and exams. Common methods that may be a part of diagnosing a shoulder impingement include:
- Consultation of current symptoms
- Looking for tenderness, swelling, or a limited range of motion
- Review of medical history
- Imaging, such as an x-ray, arthrogram, MRI, or ultrasound
- Injections at the shoulder joint consisting of a corticosteroid or anesthetic
Treatments for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Treatments for shoulder impingement syndrome generally include physical therapy and injections. Patients may require a cortisone or steroid injection to help decrease inflammation around the site of impingement. Additionally, our providers are specialists in Regenexx regenerative medicine procedures. Regenexx utilizes platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet lysate, and if needed bone marrow concentrate containing stem cells to not just improve pain, but overall tissue health as well.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome FAQ
When should I see a doctor for shoulder pain?
If you have shoulder pain that doesn’t get better or worsens after rest and home treatment after 2 – 3 weeks or it keeps you from your normal activities, it is recommended that you schedule a doctor’s visit.
How does a shoulder impingement feel?
It can vary for different people according to health, age, and the reason for the impingement, but typically people will experience:
- Pain at the top or outer edge of the shoulder
- Sharp pain when lifting the arm above the head
- Aching pain, especially at night
- Weakness in the arm
What causes shoulder impingement syndrome?
Shoulder impingement syndrome is typically caused by:
- The bursa is inflamed or irritated
- The tendon is irritated, swollen, or torn
- Bone spurs
- The acromion is not flat
Do injections for shoulder impingement syndrome hurt?
No, most patients don’t find the various injection therapies Ospina Medical provides (steroid, cortisone, Regenexx) painful. With ultrasound guidance allowing us to target a precise area for treatment, most people don’t find these injections any more uncomfortable than a regular shot.
Free Up Your Shoulder and Get Back To What You Love
If you are looking to avoid invasive treatments and are seeking a more natural, regenerative solution for your pain, please book a consultation at Ospina Medical in Midtown Manhattan. Our specialists are experts in treating orthopedic conditions and offer a variety of treatment options that will get you back to living your life the way you want to.