This condition involves a trapped shoulder tendon and often affects people aged 40 and over and those who are very active or heavily involved is sport. Impingement often can occur with either shoulder bursitis or rotator cuff tendonitis. Often, swelling is observed and reaching behind the back or overhead is difficult due to the swollen muscle and tendon rubbing on the bone.
We start Physiotherapy & Chiropractic Treatments by educating the patient to avoid aggravating activities. We often use ice to decrease the inflammation and provide joint mobilizations to address the pain. We often find there is a muscle imbalance including weakness in the lower and middle traps, and a few other muscles and tightness in the upper traps, pectoralis and the levator scapular muscles.
Exercises that focus on strengthening the Rotator Cuff Muscles are: shoulder external rotation (ER), internal rotation (IR), and first 15 degrees of shoulder ABD. Another important aspect of treatment is joint mobilizations to improve ROM. We also focus on ensuring that the patient continues functional activities like reaching for an object or buttoning their shirt. A home exercise program is a vital part of treatment. Other modalities we use include taping, acupuncture, dry needling, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.