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Subacromial Impingement

By June 22, 2017September 24th, 2023Shoulder Pain

Do you have shoulder pain? Is your shoulder pain getting the better of you?

Do you wonder why, despite exercising regularly your symptoms fail to improve?

Great news, at MGS Physio, we can help you!

There may be various anatomical structures that may be implicated in your shoulder pain.

There are four muscles that keep the head of the humerus centralised in the socket of the shoulder joint and these are called the rotator cuff muscles. They consist of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis muscles and tendons.

When you raise your arm up these muscles keep the head of the humerus in the optimum position and allows the head of the humerus to glide comfortably under the acromion which is the “roof” of the socket and an extension of the shoulder blade.

A shoulder abnormality; muscle tightness or weakness termed a “muscle imbalance” may disrupt this mechanism. This may result in the humeral head gliding forward and upward and as a result may impinge on the structures under the acromion, such as the tendons or bursa (a sac of tissue lying under the acromion). This can sometimes cause significant discomfort on movement, pain at rest or pain when lying on the shoulder.

Some of the pathologies that may exist in the shoulder include:-

  • Partial/full thickness tears
  • Calcific tendonitis
  • Tendinopathy due to overuse
  • Tear of the labrum g SLAP injury

What other factors can cause impingement?

The shape of the acromion can differ in individuals and can predispose you to injury to the tendons or bursa. There are three types of acromion- type I- flat, type II- curved or type III- hooked. As one gets older bony outgrowths called spurs may develop on the underneath surface of the acromion which may impinge on the underlying structures and cause persistent pain.

How can we help you?

At MGS physiotherapy our staff are trained to assess the shoulder in order to identify the possible contributing factors and possible causes of your shoulder pain. An accurate diagnosis and a targeted treatment plan can help to address your symptoms more efficiently and effectively. If untreated undiagnosed shoulder pain may result in a frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis which can present with a lack of movement.

What does treatment involve?

Treatment may involve reviewing your activities, posture correction, muscle imbalance correction, proprioception exercises. We also use a range of techniques to improve joint mobility and soft tissue  extensibility. You may also require other treatments such as acupuncture. Further investigations such as x-rays or ultrasound scans, may be warranted in certain cases.

If you have ongoing shoulder pain make an appointment to address your concerns and to have an in-depth assessment and appropriate treatment.