Now that the holiday season is here, it’s likely that you’ll have to lift heavy boxes off high shelves in your garage to find decorations. As you begin to use your shoulders more frequently during this time of the year, you may notice pain or weakness each time you reach overhead. Don’t ignore your pain. It’s possible that you’re suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome.
Shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition that develops when the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder are overused or injured. The acromion, the bump at the tip of your shoulder, covers your rotator-cuff and bursa, a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between the bony acromion and rotator-cuff tendon. When the bursa is compressed, your tendons are no longer protected. If you do not seek treatment quickly, you will be at risk of rotator-cuff tendinitis.
Individuals with shoulder impingement syndrome may experience restriction in shoulder motion and associated weakness when reaching overhead, behind the body, or out to the side. They may also experience pain in the shoulder, pain or discomfort when attempting to sleep on the affected side, or pain with throwing motions and other dynamic movements. Thankfully, physical therapy can be very successful in treating shoulder impingement syndrome. Once you are diagnosed, your physical therapist will create a specialized treatment plan, which may include pain management, manual therapy, rage-of-motion and strengthening exercises, patient education, and functional training.
Your physical or occupational therapist will use manual techniques like gentle joint movements, soft-tissue massage, and shoulder stretches to get your body moving properly. We also offer laser treatments for this syndrome. Once your discomfort has been reduced, your therapist will teach you exercises to correct and strengthen shoulder movements and weak muscles. Finally, your therapist will prescribe you at-home exercises to continue strengthening your shoulder so you can avoid pain and discomfort throughout the year.
As always, call us at Rue and Primavera if you are experiencing shoulder discomfort this season. (360) 279-8323
Rue and Primavera Occupational and Physical Therapy