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What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulderimpingement syndrome is a common problem in many middle–aged and elderly people. Shoulder of a human is constructed in such a way that it allows for both a large degree of freedom of movement and for significant amount of strength. This is allowed by complex structure of the joint and several muscles that control movement of bones that form it. When the bursa (a lubricant sac and a cushion for the muscles of rotator cuff) in the joint and a tendon known as supraspinatus tendon become crimped by the upper arm bone and acromion (outer edge of the shoulder blade), this condition is known as shoulder impingement.


Shoulderimpingement is usually a result of prolonged use of the shoulders in one position, typically with elevated hands. Prolonged stay (and load) of the shoulder in such a position can cause shoulder pain and lead to damage to the rotator cuff. Also, lack of space between the rotator cuff and the acromion is known to cause this condition. In most people, the tendons of the rotator cuff slide over the acromion when they raise their arms. In some people, the tendons, and the acromion are grinding.

Symptoms and treatment

Painis felt when making upward and downward movements of the shoulder. Shoulder muscles might weaken. In some cases, top external part of the shoulder hurts even if the shoulder is not moved. Treatment includes exercises and medications or surgery.Surgery is regarded as a last resort, when neither exercises nor medication provide relief, or the symptoms are persistent. Fortunately, most people will be able to resolve this condition by exercising.

Someexercises that help

A tricep stretch is easy and effective. Put the palm of your hand at the back of the head, with the elbow bent. Touch your bent elbow with your other hand and then try to pull the hand down from the head. Stay in this position for some time, relax, repeat with the other hand.

Putboth hands at the back of the head. Pull elbows back gradually until you feel a sufficient stretch in the shoulder muscles. Hold, relax,repeat.

Make8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise, for each arm. Remember to take a shot break between repetitions and a bit longer break between different exercises. Also, do not overstretch the muscles, be sure that you feel the muscles stretching but not to such extent that it is painful or unpleasant.

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