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Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball-shaped end of the upper arm bone (humerus) fits neatly into a socket, called the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade or scapula.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is the inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder joint. It is one of the most common causes of pain in the shoulder. Shoulder impingement is also called swimmer’s shoulder, tennis shoulder or rotator cuff tendinitis.

Causes of Shoulder Impingement

Impingement results in the young and middle-aged who engage in physical activities that require repeated overhead arm movements. The pain may be due to bursitis (inflammation of the bursa) overlying the rotator cuff or tendonitis of the cuff itself. In some circumstances, a partial tear of the rotator cuff may cause impingement pain.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

Individuals with shoulder impingement may experience severe pain at rest and during activities, weakness of the arm and difficulty in raising the hand overhead.

Diagnosis of Shoulder Impingement

Diagnosis involves a physical examination by your doctor, where your doctor checks for the possible range of movements with the affected shoulder. X-rays and MRI scans may be ordered to view the injury and inflammation.

Treatment Options for Shoulder Impingement

Conservative Treatment Options for Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement can be treated with rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs and avoiding activities involving the shoulder. Physiotherapy may be advised to strengthen the muscles and steroid injections may be administered if pain persists.

Surgery for Shoulder Impingement

Arthroscopic surgery is recommended if the rotator cuff tendons are torn and to remove the bony spurs.

  • NHS
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • 
British Elbow & Shoulder Society
  • University of Warwick
  • Swor and D

Hospitals Attended

  • Stratford Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Arden St, Stratford-upon-Avon,
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions


    Ext 4798
  • Nuffield Health
    Warwickshire Hospital

    The Chase, Old Milverton Lane
    Leamington Spa
    CV32 6RW
    Driving Directions


  • Warwick Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Lakin Road, Warwick,
    CV34 5BW
    Driving Directions


    Ext 4798
  • The Grafton Suite,
    Building One

    Stratford Hospital, Arden Street
    Stratford-upon-Avon
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions


  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Health
  • 
The Grafton Suite - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust