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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

How to Manage and Treat the Impingement Syndrome?

Subacromial impingement or the Impingement Syndrome is an injury or damage to the muscles lying between the shoulder area and bones. Noone is immune to this condition but it is more prevalent in certain sections of the population like the elderly and the active adults.

The impingement occurs as a result of the rotator cuff tendons being inflamed or irritated as they pass through the subacromial space. It results in pain and weakness as well as a reduced range of motion of the shoulder. Those who suffer from this condition mainly experience pain while extending their hands and reaching behind their back, raising their arm overhead, and forward. The pain also hampers the quality of sleep at night.

Thus, it becomes necessary for patients to find out how to get rid of shoulder impingement pain. The right diagnosis and assessment will help you uncover the extent of your injury so that you can avail the correct line of treatment.

How Does Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Feel Like?

Shoulder pain

A man experiencing pain in the shoulder, Credit: Pixabay

Patients suffering from this condition might have to experience the following:

  1. A sharp pain when you try to extend your arm behind your back.

  2. Pain on straightening the arms overhead.

  3. A feeling of weakness in the shoulder joint.

  4. Progressive pain in the front and side of the shoulder.

How Is the Impingement Syndrome Diagnosed?

Shoulder impingement is a part of a broad category of shoulder pain conditions. The right diagnosis will help you determine how to get rid of shoulder impingement syndrome. Two major examinations are done to diagnose the patient with this condition. They are:

  1. Neers Impingement test

  2. Hawkins test

  3. MRI test

1.   Neers Impingement Test

In this test, the arm of the patient is rotated and flexed by the medical professional. If the patient complains of pain, then the impingement test is said to be positive.

2.   Hawkins Test

In this test, the shoulder and the elbow are kept at an angle of 90 degrees. The medical professional rotates the arm. If the patient complains of pain, then the test is said to be positive.

3.   MRI Test

MRI imaging of the affected shoulder is also used as a diagnostic tool to determine the presence of impingement syndrome.

How to Get Rid of Shoulder Impingement Pain?

There are many kinds of treatments that are used to treat the impingement syndrome. Some of the most common and effective ones are:

  1. Use of ice packs

  2. Anti-inflammatory medications

  3. Physical therapy

1.   Use of Ice Packs

subacromial impingement treatment

Person applying ice packs, Credit: Pixabay

In this treatment ice packs are applied for around 20 minutes on the affected shoulder. These ice packs can be applied once or twice a day. If you don’t have ice ready, then you can also use a bag of frozen corn or peas for the same purpose.

2.   Anti-inflammatory Medications

ibuprofen medicine

ibuprofen medication. Credit: Pixabay

over-the-counter pain relief medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can be used for mild cases. If your pain is more sever, your doctor may prescribe you a stronger medicine.

3.   Physical Therapy

Physical therapy

A physical therapist with a patient, Credit: Pixabay

It is one of the most effective treatment for impingement syndrome. Here, a series of exercises are performed under the guidance of a physical therapist. Patient can learn the exercises and can perform them at home.

In severe cases, the doctor may administer cortisone injection to the patient. It is also recommended to patients suffering from shoulder impingement not to do those activities which require overhead movement of the shoulder joint. In cases where the rotator cuff is torn, a surgery is the only option.

Hence, it is necessary for you to identify this syndrome at the initial stages. You should reach out for help the moment you start experiencing persistent pain during various shoulder movements. If you ignore treatment, the chances of the condition developing into a major complication becomes higher.

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