Shoulder Impingement Care

We offer personalized care to relieve shoulder impingement pain and symptoms.

Shoulder Impingement Care

We offer personalized care to relieve shoulder impingement pain and symptoms.

Leading-edge Care for Impinged Rotator Cuffs

Your shoulder is a complex joint that lets you move your arm in many different positions. That makes it vulnerable to strains and injuries, particularly the rotator cuff — a group of tendons and muscles that holds your arm in place. Shoulder impingement happens when the edge of your shoulder blade (bone) rubs or impinges against the rotator cuff underneath, causing swelling and pain.

Our orthopedic specialists offer leading-edge care for impinged rotator cuffs. Our doctors draw from the latest shoulder impingement therapies to create a treatment plan that relieves your pain as quickly as possible.

What Causes an Impinged Rotator Cuff?

When you raise your arm, the space between your shoulder blade and rotator cuff gets smaller, and the shoulder blade can rub against the tendon and the bursa (a cushioning sac that lets tendons glide easily during arm movements).

Your risk of shoulder impingement, also called shoulder impingement syndrome, increases if your:

  • Bursa is inflamed
  • Shoulder blade is misshapen or has an irregularity, such as a bone spur (a bump made of extra bone)
  • Tendon is swollen or torn

Shoulder impingement is most common in people who do a lot of overhead arm rotation, such as construction workers or painters. It is also common in athletes, including swimmers or baseball, volleyball or tennis players. Right shoulder impingement is more common, because most people are right-handed.

Shoulder Impingement Signs and Symptoms

Shoulder impingement symptoms often develop gradually over weeks or months. Typically, you feel pain in the front of your shoulder, and you may also have swelling in this area. The pain may extend down the side of your arm.

Common symptoms include pain when you:

  • Lie down on the affected side
  • Lift your arms overhead, reach for something or lower your raised arm
  • Reach behind you

As the problem gets worse, you may lose shoulder strength and range of motion.

Doctors can see shoulder impingement on MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans and ultrasound tests. MRI scans can show problems with the rotator cuff tendon, rotator cuff tears and swelling or fluid in the bursa.

Shoulder Impingement Treatments We Offer

Often, doctors treat shoulder impingement without surgery. Rest and nonsurgical approaches relieve symptoms for many people, although it may take several weeks or months for the shoulder to heal completely.

Treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid shots

When nonsurgical treatments do not relieve symptoms or you need a more advanced approach, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgeons can often use minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder impingement surgery to create more space around your rotator cuff and relieve symptoms. This minimally invasive procedure uses smaller incisions, which offers less pain and a faster recovery.

Relief from Shoulder Impingement Pain

Our specialists have decades of experience providing exceptional orthopedic care, including leading-edge treatment for all types of shoulder pain.

You get personalized treatment to relieve symptoms and allow you to move without pain.

You receive complete care from specialists in orthopedics, sports medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and pain management.

You get care from providers known for their expertise — our physicians have been named “Top Doctors” by Los Angeles magazine and Pasadena magazine.

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