Shoulder impingements are incredibly common injuries.
However, “shoulder impingement” is a broad term that encompasses a plethora of different shoulder diagnoses, many of which are extremely debilitating in a variety of ways.
In the following post, we’ll provide an overview of shoulder impingement issues and discuss how chiropractic care can lead to decreased pain and improved function in the injured shoulder.
What Is Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?
Within the shoulder, there are various muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues. Many of these structures are very small and susceptible to injury.
Some of the most common sites of injury in the shoulder occur in an area known as the subacromial space. As the name suggests, the subacromial space is the area underneath the acromion, a bone that juts out forward from the top of the shoulder blade. The unique position of this bone and the tissues associated with it often lead to injuries in the region.
There are a few different muscles and key tendons that pass through this space, so if they don’t have enough room to move, they can be shredded and damaged by the bones in this part of the body. When this happens, the injury that occurs is known as an impingement of the shoulder.
What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?
When it comes to shoulder pain, and conditions affecting the shoulder, making a diagnosis is often very difficult. There are so many tissues packed into this tight space, and so many things that can go wrong, that clinicians will often come to a fairly general diagnosis for a patient’s shoulder symptoms.
However, clearly defining the symptoms that a patient is experiencing can help to narrow down the list of possible diagnoses.
Shoulder impingement syndrome often involves all or some of the following:
- Pain in the front, top, and/or back of the shoulder.
- Clicking, catching, or popping in the shoulder.
- Difficulty moving the arm at the shoulder joint.
- Swelling and feelings of “fullness” in the shoulder.
As you may notice, many of these symptoms are very general, and they can apply to tons of different conditions that affect the shoulder such as labral tears, rotator cuff injuries, and others.
So, it takes a careful and thorough evaluation by a trained clinician to accurately diagnose your shoulder injury!
How to Treat and Avoid the Development of Impingement Syndrome
One of the best ways to increase space in the subacromial space is to improve shoulder and upper back posture.
This requires a two-fold approach, where you simultaneously increase flexibility in the tight muscles in the front of the shoulder and strengthen the weak muscles in the back.
There are a few important exercises that can help to accomplish this task, such as rows, pec stretches, and tons of other moves.
Also, treatment options such as chiropractic care can go a long way toward improving the symptoms associated with impingement syndrome.
Chiropractic Care for Impingement Syndrome of the Shoulder
As was mentioned in the previous section, many cases of shoulder impingement syndrome can be addressed through exercise involving stretching and strengthening of the upper back and shoulder.
That being said, chiropractic care can also be an excellent treatment option for shoulder pain and shoulder impingement.
By correcting any misalignments in the spine, chiropractors allow nerve signals to better reach their targets. In turn, this allows for healing in injured tissues.
Are you dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that just won’t go away, no matter what you do? If this sounds like you, you should consider stopping by your Lithia, FL chiropractor’s office at At Last Chiropractic. We can help you today! Book your first session now!