Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement

This is one of the commonest causes of shoulder pain, especially for people between 45 to 60 years of age. In my practice, I have found that women are more commonly affected. The cause is thought to be a conflict of space between the rotator cuff (a cuff of muscle and tendon surrounding the shoulder, and responsible for rotating it) and the acromion, a part of the shoulder blade.

Some people may be born with a very sloping acromion, but more commonly it is aggravated by formation of new bone called “spurs” that dig into the tendon while movement of the shoulder.


Typically, most people present with pain in the front and side of the arm and shoulder, especially while moving the shoulder overhead or activities like pouring water from a kettle or hanging clothes on a clothesline! Some people report difficulty in lying on the same shoulder.








I generally follow a protocol, when I see a patient of shoulder impingement.

Going on to the next t step when some patients fail to respond. I recommend surgery only if the symptoms persist for about 6 months inspite of treatment or there is imminent danger of a torn cuff.

Step1: avoidance of activities causing pain, anti inflammatory medications and physical therapy

Step 2: injection of cortisone in the subacromial space and physical therapy

Step 3: non responders are advised arthroscopic (key hole) surgery.