Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common cause of shoulder pain for athletes who participate in sports and activities that involve significant use of overhead arm motions, such as swimming, tennis, and baseball. It occurs when the scapula, or shoulder blade, puts pressure on the rotator cuff when lifting the arm.
For those who have this syndrome, it may be hard to reach behind the back or overhead for items. Over time, this shoulder impingement can lead to tendonitis or bursitis. It can also start to cause thinning and tearing of the rotator cuff.
There are a variety of nonsurgical treatment options that can be used to treat shoulder impingement syndrome, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
If nonsurgical treatment does not help relieve pain, surgery may be recommended to create more space for the rotator cuff to move. If surgery is necessary, a specialty-trained shoulder surgeon will work with you or your athlete to develop an individualized surgical treatment plan.