Shoulder Impingement

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Shoulder Impingement

Also popularly referred to as ‘shoulder muscle impingement syndrome’ or ‘swimmer’s shoulder’, Shoulder Impingement is characterized by the acute or chronic injury to the rotator muscles of the shoulder joint. These muscle fibers are most frequently damaged due to hyperactivity or abuse of shoulder joint.  

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is mainly characterized by:

  • Narrowing of the gap between acromion and the humerus bone due to overstretching of shoulder joint that may compress the tendons.
  • Ongoing inflammatory response in the tendons which causes swelling and discomfort
  • Accumulation or deposition of calcium crystals in the subacromial gap can also lead to the muscle impingement.
  • Any injury to rotator muscles of humerus due to trauma or misuse

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Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

Most cases present to clinical setting with the following symptoms:

  • severe pain and functional disability of the joint in addition to localized swelling, such as pain when lifting or lowering your arm or reaching behind your back  
  • worsening of pain at night-time,
  • restriction of muscle movement and limited range of joint motion due to shoulder and/or arm weakness and stiffness.

Causes of Shoulder Impingement

The majority of cases of Shoulder Impingement is caused by overuse of the shoulder, and therefore, certain repeated activities can increase the risk of developing Functional Muscle Shoulder Impingement. These particular risk factors can include:

  • Sports that require overhead or forceful motion, like swimming, tennis or baseball 
  • Occupations that require heavy lifting or repetitive arm movement, such as mining, construction work or painting
  • History of previous injury or surgery involving muscle joint
  • Old age

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder pain is the third most frequently reported musculoskeletal disorder that affects about 7 to 26% of the general population. According to latest estimates, 74% cases of the shoulder pain are due to functional muscle impingement (1).

of population with shoulder pain
Shoulder pain cases due to shoulder impingment

Worsley, P., Warner, M., Mottram, S., Gadola, S., Veeger, H. E. J., Hermens, H., ... & Stokes, M. (2013). Motor control retraining exercises for shoulder impingement: effects on function, muscle activation, and biomechanics in young adults. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 22(4), e11-e19.

How MHC Treatment Options Can Help Condition Title

Chiropractic Intervention used for shoulder muscle impingement syndrome mainly revolves around controlling the inflammatory process, strengthening the muscles and tendons and preventing the risk of recurrence in susceptible individuals.

Shoulder Recovery Program

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Schedule an Appointment Today

If you want to be free from Shoulder Pain don’t hesitate to call us to book a “Your Motion Matters” Initial Case Review today, for a pain free tomorrow.


Shoulder Pain Sydney CBD, Wynyard, Martin Place, Town Hall, Darling Harbour, Barrangaroo NSW | (02) 9934 9979

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