Waving Goodbye to a Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder pain is common, especially among athletes and older people. One of the reasons shoulder pain is such a frequent complaint is because of the complex makeup of the shoulder.


With several bones and a variety of soft tissue structures such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work together to enable the shoulder to move and rotate, it’s not surprising that the shoulder is vulnerable to a multitude of injuries.


One of the most common shoulder issues is shoulder impingement, also known as shoulder impingement syndrome, swimmer’s shoulder, and rotator cuff tendinitis. Another common shoulder injury is a rotator cuff tear, which is often caused by untreated shoulder impingement. 


What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is especially common among people who play sports that require repetitive overhead movements such as baseball, golf, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. People who have office jobs that require overhead and other repetitive arm movements are also prone to shoulder injuries. Additionally, the wear and tear of joints and tendons as you age can also contribute to shoulder problems.


The shoulder is a unique body part in that tendons, bursa, muscles, and ligaments are surrounded by bone. When some of this soft tissues swells, it can rub against the bone or other tissue, creating inflammation and a narrowing of the space in the shoulder. 


The result of this inflammation and pushing against bone is shoulder pain and weakness. The shoulder pain is especially acute when reaching behind your back or lifting your arms overhead. The pain can also make finding a comfortable position to sleep a challenge. 


Saying goodbye to shoulder impingement pain and weakness

At Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Bryan King, MD, first performs a comprehensive evaluation of your musculoskeletal issues. He then prescribes a personalized treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms and get you back to a pain-free lifestyle.


In most cases, Dr. King first recommends nonsurgical options such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and rest. If noninvasive treatments don’t help to relieve your  symptoms, the next line of treatment is usually a shoulder injection to reduce inflammation.


If pain and other issues are not resolved, surgery is an option. Dr. King and his team develop a surgical treatment plan using the most advanced techniques, which may include minimally invasive procedures, to help decompress the shoulder so that the soft tissues have more room to move. 

If your shoulder is causing you pain, make an appointment with Dr. King at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute for a personalized treatment plan. Call the Northport, Alabama, office at 205-354-2679, or you can send a message to Dr. King and the team here on the website.

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