9 Ways to Treat Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder pain is a common issue that can significantly impact your getting things done. This is particularly true for those who are very active people and athletes. To address the problems that cause impingement syndrome, you as a patient must first understand what impingement syndrome is and how it affects your overall health. The more you know these things, the better chances you'll have at ensuring recovery and expediting the process of treating your problem. If you're searching for an effective treatment method, take some time to read through the top ways to treat your shoulder pain effectively.

1. Rest

Shoulder impingement syndrome can cause you to be in a lot of pain if it goes unchecked, often taking a long time to go away on its own. As such, it's vital to give your shoulder some extra care to prevent inflammation from getting worse. The easiest thing you can do is rest more and avoid overworking that shoulder until the issue has healed adequately so as not to inflame it and worsen any pre-existing injury continually. Although this may prove difficult for many people, sleeping on an incline pillow will allow your entire body to relax, and your shoulders will receive extra care without the need for additional effort when under pressure from work or trying to get an early morning workout in before work.

The best way to prevent accidental use is by using a shoulder brace. You can easily find the one that will suit your needs. Use it to protect your injury while also easing its pain to move around with ease. You should know how long you have to rest it and what kind of exercises help you regain movement, so you're able to continue living your everyday daily life without feeling pain every time you move, especially if you're doing something simple like tying your shoes or opening a door!

2. Hot and Cold Therapy

Things like herbal heating pads and ice packs are a go-to addition to any injury treatment, especially tendonitis of the shoulder. For the shoulder, more specific relief can be obtained with heat packs or even compression cold packs to conform precisely to the arm. Initially, if your shoulder pain is relatively new, try to stick with ice for the first 24 - 48 hours. After that, try alternating between heat and cold, using them in combination to optimize blood flow and pain relief.

3. Physical Therapy

As a trained expert in musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, including shoulder impingement, shoulder instability, and rotator cuff tears, the physical therapist is well-versed in evaluating your symptoms to discover the cause of your pain. Before starting any physical therapy program or treatment plan for shoulder impingement or related conditions like shoulder bursitis or tendonitis, book an appointment with a physical therapist who can evaluate how these symptoms impact you daily.

Through a thorough evaluation of your shoulder range of motion, flexibility, strength, coordination, and posture, you can acquire the knowledge necessary to create a muscle strengthening, stretching, and endurance routine that will help get you back to your average level of movement; in no time!

4. Stretches and Exercises

For a productive recovery after one suffers from shoulder impingement, it is vital they make an effort to include appropriate exercises and stretches to their treatment protocol. While stretching should address a limited range of motion at the shoulder, neck, and upper back, strengthening exercises should concentrate on the rotator cuff muscles, shoulder blades, and upper back. A great tool to use for shoulder strengthening is a resistance band.

5. Massage

Muscles are meant to be used. Whether it's from playing sports or just a rigorous day at the office, your muscles can get sore, and that's normal! Soft tissue massage is a great way to relax those muscles, so they don't stress or strain as much. You can even perform soothing tissue massage on yourself with professional tools like our Massage Cane and Lacrosse Ball Set - there are options for everyone no matter what budget you have! Otherwise, if you need some extra assistance getting things back in place, try going for a massage or physical therapy session.

6. Acupuncture

Acupuncture to address the entire upper body can promote blood flow, relaxation, and overall well-being as it addresses specific areas that may be of emphasis for you or not. Often, shoulder pain is secondary to other more significant problems related to poor muscle coordination and posture. Otherwise, one can always try an acupressure mat daily to manage the back and back of your shoulders.

7. Surgery

If a patient's condition becomes chronic and there is pain, weakness, and loss of function, they will most likely go in for a form of surgery. Surgery What is it? If conservative treatment has failed, there is a significant tear in the rotator cuff. The injury was caused by high force trauma and is associated with other shoulder injuries (such as with sports). Typically, surgery will be recommended to repair the tear if a tendon in the rotator cuff is more than 50% torn and the muscles have lost significant strength and function.

The goal is to get the rotator cuff muscle tendons back to their average level of strength and health. Surgery can successfully save these tendons if they have been affected by an injury that causes significant progressive tearing in the muscle tendons or joints (such as what happens in sports).

Other issues can also be fixed via surgery. These include extra bone growth, tendon fibrosis, and other degenerative problems that aggravate the area in question, thus causing chronic inflammation and pain. Most surgeons will opt for minimally invasive surgery to not damage the surrounding tissues. It depends on how extensive the operation was as far as recovery goes. Generally, patients may face anywhere from 12 – 24 weeks before returning to complete normalcy in their activities, but everyone heals differently, and doctors may be more thorough than others with their restrictions. The best way for you to find out if surgery is right for you is by consulting a specialist who will provide you with a proper diagnosis and determine just how risky it would be to go through with that procedure.

8. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication to manage the pain shouldn't be considered a long-term option. Drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and Aleve favor over-the-counter options for managing inflammation and swelling in the shoulder. Side effects can vary from headache to kidney damage in the long term if you don't realize when enough is enough. If the pain seems to become debilitating with no improvement after two weeks, consider talking to your doctor about stronger medications or even surgical options if physical therapy offers no relief.

9. Cortisone Injection

Shoulder pain is joint, especially for people who have physical jobs. Shoulder injection of cortisone works to control this kind of pain by taking some time to heal the area and produce needed space for the bones around your shoulder joints so they can move more quickly. Cortisone has been proven to reduce any joint stiffness or inflammation you might be feeling from over-use, but it is not meant to be used as a long-term solution. Literature reports that you can receive up to four cortisone shots per year without serious side effects.

However, there is no solid evidence that cortisone injections themselves cause further problems down the road if the actual underlying cause of an issue is not fully addressed. It's also believed that they help relieve much of the pain associated with these issues and maintain one's quality of life long-term.

Finding a Safe and Effective Shoulder Impingement Treatment


Try to identify the treatment that works best for you. The goal is not to get rid of your pain or inflammation but to control it and manage it in a way that will not hamper your daily lifestyle or interfere with your ability to perform activities. If trying some methods does not work for you, then ask for professional help from specialists who can assist you in identifying the proper treatment for your condition. Some may suggest getting an X-ray or an MRI scan done as they may need more information about your shoulder. They may be wondering if there are any inflammatory growths like osteophytes, if you have any rotator cuff tears, or if you might have bursitis-related issues.

  • A feeling of heaviness in the arms
  • The onset of tingling or numbness in the arms and hands
  • Severe pain in the shoulders and neck
  • Loss of strength in the upper body
  • Significant changes in your balance

When you're in pain, it's often best to be treated as early as possible so you can get back to your everyday life again. There's a reason why people always say that procrastination leads to more severe problems in the long run - something like shoulder pain, for example. With good treatment options and lots of rest and recovery time, one can typically see relief within a few days or weeks. However, it may take up to 6 months of restful living before symptoms are no longer visible. When recovering from an injury, the most crucial factor is what treatment methods you choose and how well you follow through with them! Those who do everything to schedule physical appointments will find that they'll end up feeling better much faster compared to those who go about treating their ailments on their own.


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