If you’re experiencing shoulder pain around the joints then you may have what’s called swimmer’s shoulder or thrower’s shoulder. The technical name for these terms is medically known as shoulder impingement syndrome. This syndrome takes place when the tendons of the rotator cuff becoming impinged, meaning irritated and inflamed. The tendons must pass through the shoulder joint, also known as the subacromial space, and cause pain even more if there is a partial tear. The good news is that at the Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute in, our orthopedic doctors in Plantation, FL can treat your shoulder syndrome effectively.
What Causes Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?
Shoulder impingement syndrome is caused by repetitive pinching of the tendons which leads to over exhaustion. More complications take place when the tendon begins to thicken, leaving less space for the tendon to pass through. In worst case scenarios the tendon can become obstructed by the shoulder joint and other muscles, causing excruciating pain. However, this syndrome is not strictly caused by the rotator cuff being afflicted and rather than being a true diagnosis, be a sign that something else is wrong in the physiological region. This affliction may be due to shoulder instability, bone spurs, local tendinitis, or other bone dysfunctions.
What Are The Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?
Pain is always an indicator of something being out of sorts but when it comes to this syndrome, pain will be localized in the following physiological regions: the shoulder, the arm, or the neck. Pain may be experienced either in the front or the side of the joint. Other tells consist of limited range of muscular motion, muscle weakness, stiffness in the joints, and muscle tenderness. If participating in sporting events, pain may occur when throwing, hence the name thrower’s shoulder, or when performing overhead movements i.e. swimmer’s shoulder.
What Does Diagnosis Look Like?
The Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute physicians will first start with your medical history followed by a physical exam before performing any treatments or tests. If a physician determines that further testing is needed, he or she will start with an X-ray exam first. Potential forms of testing will be considered if significant weakness is determined which may result in an ultrasound, MRI, or an arthrogram — an exam that includes x-rays in addition to dye injection known as contrast that allows physicians to see inside of the tendon.
What Treatments Are Available?
Treatment may include:
- Rest and daily stretching
- Physical therapy and alternative medical practices including acupuncture
- Medications: oral anti-inflammatories (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) analgesic and steroid
- Cortisone steroid shots
- Sports medicine therapy
What Can I Do If I Think I’m Experiencing Shoulder Impingement Pain?
If you feel that you may have this syndrome try applying ice or a cold therapy compression wrap to the afflicted area. Do this for an average of 10-15 minutes every hour. As the symptom reduces you can apply the compress less and less. However, this doesn’t mean you should not consult a physician, even if the pain subsides substantially. If you are using an ice bag rather than a commercial compress, remember to protect your skin from potential skin irritation by wrapping the ice bag in a wrapped towel. Try taking over the counter pain killers to also alleviate some of the pain. Without knowing what is being afflicted, avoid stretching at this juncture and rest the afflicted area.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome call the Sea Spine Orthopedic Institute in Plantation, FL at 866-81-Ortho (67846). Contact us online at seaspineortho.com and view our website for more updates in orthopedic treatment.