What is a Shoulder Impingement Pt. 2

Last time we discussed the basics of Shoulder Impingement, alongside the causes, risks and how shoulder impingements are diagnosed. Click Here for part 1 of the article.

This week we will discuss signs, symptoms and treatment.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

  • Shoulder pain that could begin at the shoulder and move down near the elbow.
  • Shoulder Pain with lying or resting on the shoulder
  • Pain in the shoulder when reaching, lifting or putting hands behind the back
  • Often times a painful arc in movement may occur whenever the arm is moved near shoulder height or overhead.
  • At its very worst, shoulder pain can even be present at rest.


Physiotherapy can assist with helping you regain optimal control of your shoulder. This could help reduce the occurrences of shoulder impingement as well as provide you the tools to perform self maintenance on your shoulder.

Scapula (Shoulder blade) control retraining is usually an important part of shoulder impingement rehabilitation – a well controlled shoulder blade creates a good platform for the shoulder joint.

There will be times where some manual therapy will be indicated – this is in the case of tightness in muscles, myofascial trigger points as well as stiffness in joints.

If shoulder pain stays very persistent and severe, often times the use of corticosteroids may be recommended by a doctor.

Should the cause of the shoulder impingement be physical such as the case of bony spurs or severe structural narrowing, surgical intervention may be indicated.

On Another Note

For the majority of people – just addressing the shoulder joint might be a good way to obtain relief from shoulder impingement. However shoulder problems may often result from underlying issues from the neck, thoracic spine or other parts of the body. It is beneficial to bring this up in the discussion as well as allow your clinician to identify these other issues.