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SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME

Updated: Apr 30

BY PAUL DARDAGAN


Over the last few months I have been attending a few gyms around the Pyrmont area which include the Ian Thorpe Centre and University of Sydney of Technology to conduct some screening sessions for a number of members associated with the gyms. There has been a variety of conditions I have come across but one in particular has been prominent. Shoulder Impingement has been undoubtedly the most common complaint. I have recognised this condition is poorly understood and commonly mistreated. So far, I found that clients tend to try treat themselves by using Dr Google or following poor advice from non-professionals. So lets look a little closer to what shoulder impingement means and how important it is to seek professional advice and management.


SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT

Shoulder Impingement is a common condition that is caused when the rotator cuffs are pinched as they pass through the subacromial space formed between the Coraco-Acromial arch, AC joint, Acromion and the Glenohumeral joint. This impingement can cause swelling and damage to the muscle and tendons.  


Shoulder Impingement can be:


  • External

  • Primary

  • Secondary

  • Internal

Primary External Impingement:

  • Abnormal surrounding bony structures –> A curved or hooked acromion

  • These abnormalities can be congenital or a build up of bony growth (osteophytes)

  • Thickening of the Coraco-Acromial arch

  • Bony formation of the AC joint

Secondary External Impingement

  • Inadequate scapula stabilisation –> the rotating scapula pinches down on the subacromial space –> this is a results of weaker or tighter stabilizing muscles creating an imbalance


Internal impingement

  • This commonly occurs in the late stage of throwing whereby the rotator cuff tendons are impinged between the humeral head and the glenoid (scapula).


 TREATMENT OPTIONS &  HOW TO TREAT SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT

Treatment is completely dependent on the type of impingement that has caused your pathology and will always begin with a conservative approach including:


  • An accurate diagnosis of the cause of impingement which will be given to you by your Physiotherapist

  • Rest

  • NSAIDS

  • Soft tissue techniques

  • Dry needling

  • Rotator cuff and periscapular strengthening

  • Self-reliant strategies using rollers, trigger point balls

Generally speaking a successful conservative treatment should take between 3-6 weeks.

Non conservative approach –> only explored with an unsuccessful conservative approach


  • Cortisone Injection

  • Surgical intervention –> looking at repairing any torn tissue or address any primary external impingement structures


It is important to understand that both these interventions will require between 4-6 months of Physiotherapy rehabilitation and are by no means a quick fix.

USEFUL PRODUCTS FOR OPTIMAL SELF MANAGEMENT SOLD AT AT BOUNCEREHAB:


Microcurrent/TENS portable devices $60

Anti-Flamme topical cream $25 & $ $45 (90 & 450 grams)

Heat packs $35

Pilates Home Kits (exercise tubing) $30 or Theraband $10/meter

Shoulder Door Pulleys $20

Foam Rollers – small $35 large $65

Postural support/harness $56.50

Trigger point balls $16.50


As our online store is currently under constructions please contact frontdesk@bouncerehab.com.au or (02) 9571 7606 for orders.



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