October 10th, 2021
Discover How Postural Improvement Could Relieve Your Impingement Discomfort
The shoulder is a unique part of the body, as it is composed of three bones: the humerus (arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collarbone).
Rather than being "wrapped" in tendon and muscle like other bones in the body, these three bones are connected by a rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons. The bursa is a lubricating sac located at the top of your arm bone that allows the rotator cuff to move freely when you move your arm.
If the rotator cuff tendons are damaged, or if the bursa becomes inflamed, the result can be severe shoulder pain. When you raise your arm to shoulder height, the space between the rotator cuff and the top of your shoulder bone (the acromion) narrows. The acromion may rub against a tendon or bursa, causing shoulder impingement.
Fortunately, a physical therapist can test to see what the cause of your pain is and help improve your posture, therefore also relieving your pain.
As stated by the American Physical Therapy Association,
“The physical therapist uses tests and measures to assess an individual's structural alignment. Optimal posture is a state of musculoskeletal balance and skeletal alignment that may protect the individual against injury or progressive deformity. Responses monitored at rest, during activity, and after activity may indicate the presence or severity of an impairment, activity limitation, or participation restriction.”
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, we can help. Contact us today to learn more!
Common symptoms of shoulder impingement
People who have shoulder impingement frequently find it difficult to lift their arm above their head. This can manifest as being unable to lift something overhead or having difficulty putting on a coat.
Shoulder impingement, if left untreated, wears down the tendons or bursa in the shoulder, causing a tear in the rotator cuff that often necessitates surgery, in order to repair - unless a physical therapist intervenes!
Common causes of shoulder impingement
In most cases, shoulder impingement is caused by repetitive overhead motions. Swimmers, tennis players, construction workers, painters, and athletes can all experience pain from shoulder impingement.
Poor posture caused by our daily habits can also shorten the space between the acromion and the rotator cuff, leading to shoulder impingement. The poor postures that many of us adopt while reading, working, texting, driving, cooking, or exercising can all affect the amount of subacromial space in our shoulders.
How can physical therapy help with shoulder impingement?
The first goal of treating shoulder impingement, regardless of the cause, is to reduce joint inflammation. This can be accomplished by taking anti-inflammatory medications and applying ice to the affected area when pain occurs.
Once the inflammation has subsided, seeing a physical therapist is the best way to get rid of shoulder impingement. Your physical therapist will not only be able to perform a thorough physical examination to rule out other underlying causes, but they will also be able to design a personalized treatment plan for you.
Treatments will most likely include avoiding repetitive, overhead motions for a period of time, as well as stretches to reduce impingement, and strengthening exercises to prevent it from recurring. A physical therapist is likely to recommend adjustments to improve your posture, if your shoulder impingement is being caused by poor posture.
Having an ergonomic workspace, improving your posture while performing daily tasks, and stretching appropriately throughout the day will also all work to treat the underlying cause of your shoulder impingement and prevent it from returning.
Shoulder impingement, whether caused by poor posture or repetitive tasks, is not to be taken lightly. Speak with your physical therapist if you are experiencing pain when moving your arms overhead. The earlier the condition is treated, the more effective the treatment will be!
Get started on the path toward relief today
Our physical therapists have extensive experience and are committed to assisting patients in relieving pain and improving their posture.
When you arrive for your first appointment, your physical therapist will perform a thorough examination to determine the source of your pain and the best treatment options for relieving it.
Your physical therapist will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific requirements. This will concentrate on relieving your pain, increasing your strength, and improving your posture as soon as possible. Treatment plans may also emphasize mobility, balance, flexibility, or stability, depending on the nature of your condition.
Is your posture bothering you? Are your shoulders causing you pain? Get in touch with us right away to find out how our services can help you. We will provide you with the treatment you require so that you can return to your pain-free life!