Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Impingement syndrome
Impingement syndrome is an irritation of the structures between the upper portion of your arm and your shoulder blade mainly during overhead arm movements.The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles that help position the humerus, your upper arm bone, into the shoulder socket during arm movement.The shoulder has great mobility but at the same time is prone to injury during falls or accident, or when there is a lack of motor control (altered biomechanics).Men over 40 performing manual labour are the most affected with this condition. It is also present in young athletes practicing sports involving repeated overhead motion such as swimming, baseball or tennis.

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Structures involved

The tendons of the rotator cuff, ligaments of your shoulder and subacromial bursa are the most commonly affected structures. The subacromial space gets smaller during overhead movements. This can cause, over time, irritation, inflammation and/or a lesion of the rotator cuff tendons.

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Everyone will react differently after an injury and recovery will depend on the severity of it.

Impingement syndrome can cause but is not limited to, pain at the front of the shoulder and localized swelling. Pain or tightness is often felt when you lift your arm overhead or when you lower it from an elevated position. Pain can also be felt around your shoulder blade in your back.

Other early symptoms can include light pain with activities or during rest and in some cases, irradiating pain around your shoulder. In severe cases, you might feel pain at night and a loss of strength or range of motion. Impingement syndrome can lead to rotator cuff tendinitis or shoulder bursitis when left untreated.

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Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health, fitness & nutritional status will affect recovery speed. Most of the time, you can expect to recover fully from impingement syndrome. As a rule of thumb, this condition can take up to three months to fully recover.

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▶ WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to protect your shoulder and prevent further damage, but it’s important to avoid overprotecting your injury. A few days rest where you avoid pain-inducing movement and activities might be necessary. A quick but progressive return to your activities of daily living, light cardiovascular exercise and specific range of motion and strengthening exercises will allow better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your practitioner’s advice. It will help you manage the different phases of the recovery process and will increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation. Your practitioner will assist you during your rehabilitation program in order to regain your normal range of motion, strength and endurance, optimal motor control and functional status.

As per the principles of rehabilitation for impingement syndrome, movement training through therapeutic exercises is an important part of functional recovery. A progressive exercise program performed over a few weeks period is pretty standard.

▶ WHAT TO AVOID

Don’t rely on passive treatment only. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients that are actively involved in their treatment plan tend to recover faster. Keep in mind that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well managed in collaboration with your therapist, you should reintroduce light strengthening exercises as tolerated.

Stress and Weight 

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Bottom Line:

A recent research study found over 75% of people experience at least a moderate amount of stress every day! 

Chronic stress is not fun to deal with, but did you know it can also affect your weight? 

When you are stressed your body goes into survival (or “fight or flight”) mode which changes your hormonal balance. You don’t need to be running from a saber tooth tiger to enter fight or flight mode. Even everyday events like traffic and stress at work can cause you to have that physiological response. 

Why it Matters:

Recent research suggests that chronic stress can result in:

  • high blood pressure,
  • changes in your brain,
  • and weight gain.

When you are stressed out, it is more likely that you will over-eat and less likely that you will get enough sleep and exercise. Stress causes your body to release cortisol, a hormone that can produce a build-up of fatty tissue and cause weight gain. Cortisol increases both your appetite and the amount of fat the body stores. By recognizing your stressors, and engaging in a few simple relaxation techniques, you can learn to reduce your body’s natural stress response. 

  • The hormone Cortisol is released in response to stress and increases your blood sugar.
  • Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels. 
  • An association has been found between increased cortisol levels and obesity.

Next Steps: 

Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or even simple breathing exercises can help your body counter the stress response. Also, exercise has been shown to decrease stress levels substantially. 

The next time you are feeling stressed out, take a moment to breathe a few deep breaths and try to get some exercise into your schedule that day. Not only will you feel better mentally, but your body will be able to reduce the amount of Cortisol produced which will limit your body’s fat storage and help curb any thoughts of over-eating. Staying fit and trim does start in your head! 

Science Source(s): 

Hair Cortisol and Adiposity in a Population‐Based Sample of 2,527 Men and Women Aged 54 to 87 Years. Obesity 2017

Stiff neck??

One of the most common causes of a stiff neck are trigger points in the levator scapulae muscle. This muscle runs up the side of the neck from the top of the shoulder blade. It helps to shrug the shoulders and move and stabilize the neck. When trigger points form in this muscle they will produce pain and stiffness in the neck. Deep tissue trigger point massage applied to these knots is an effective treatment method.

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Trigger points and headaches

Trigger points are contracted knots of muscle tissue that form in any muscle as a result of overload stress. Trigger points cause pain, referred pain, stiffness and weakness. Trigger points that form in the muscles of the neck and head often refer pain into the head and face. This is one of the most common causes of headache pain. Trigger point massage is an effective way to treat trigger points.

Got a stiff neck??

One of the most common causes of a stiff neck are trigger points in the levator scapulae muscle. This muscle runs up the side of the neck from the top of the shoulder blade. It helps to shrug the shoulders and move and stabilize the neck. When trigger points form in this muscle they will produce pain and stiffness in the neck. Deep tissue trigger point massage applied to these knots is an effective treatment method.

Trigger points in the abdominal muscles.

Myofascial trigger points in the abdominal muscles are very common. These muscles are responsible for trunk movement and stability, and are engaged in some way during most activities. As a result trigger points will easily form. These knots will often refer pain into the lower or mid back in a horizontal strip. Trigger points in the abdominal muscles are often overlooked as a source of back pain. Once developed, a trigger point won’t release on its own. A therapeutic modality such as trigger point massage is needed to release the tissue.

Trigger point pain

Myofascial trigger points are contracted knots that form in muscle tissue. They form from overload stress placed on the muscle. Both chronic stress such as poor posture and acute stress such as an injury will cause trigger points to form. Once there a trigger point will produce pain, referred pain, weakness and stiffness. Trigger points don’t go away with rest or with time, some form of intervention such as trigger point massage is needed to treat the injured muscles. Trigger points can form in any muscle in the body and are one of the most common causes of pain.

Trigger points in the hamstrings.

With all the sitting going on these days, tight hamstrings are becoming increasingly common. When your hamstrings are tight they almost certainly have trigger points. These contracted knots in the muscle are a common cause of pain felt in the back of the leg, knee and lower buttocks. Trigger points don’t go away with rest or stretching, they need a therapeutic intervention such as massage to be released.