Also known as
- Impingement syndrome
- Shoulder bursitis
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
Shoulder impingement is a very common condition. It occurs when there is inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa around them.
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles around your shoulder joint. They are very important as these muscles play an essential role in moving your shoulder in all directions, especially when lifting your hand above your head and rotating your shoulder. They also have the important function of keeping your shoulder joint in place. Without them, the ball of your shoulder joint, would not sit or function properly in the socket of your shoulder joint.
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between tendons, bones, and skin. There are numerous bursae around the shoulder, but the most important one is called the ‘subacromial bursae’. It’s located above your shoulder joint and rotator cuff muscles and protects them from rubbing on the bone above called the ‘acromion’.
Impingement syndrome is usually a combination of the tendons becoming inflammed (tendonitis) and the bursa becoming inflammed (bursitis).
Treatment of Shoulder Impingement
Most shoulder impingement can be treated with physiotherapy and steroid injections.
When the symptoms have lasted more than 6 months despite physiotherapy / injections, then shoulder arthroscopy is a good option.
Further Reading and References
- Specific or general exercise strategy for subacromial impingement syndrome-does it matter? A systematic literature review and meta analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Apr 17;18(1):158.