What is Primary Shoulder Impingement?

Primary shoulder impingement is a STRUCTURAL disorder caused by either a misaligned bone formation or mechanical wear and tear over time.

Primary shoulder impingement is the most common cause of shoulder pain and generally occurs with individuals ages 40 and over.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain in front or side of shoulder and upper arm

  • Pain when lifting arm within the “painful arc” (marked in red at image on right)

  • Pain at night or during sleep

  • Sharp pain while reaching behind your back or back pocket


COMMON CAUSES OF Primary shoulder Impingement

Primary Shoulder Impingement 2.jpg

Primary shoulder impingement is typified by the narrowing of the space at the end of the collarbone, between the acromion and bursa (highlighted in yellow). 

 There are three causes of primary shoulder impingement:

  • Joint involvement: Arthritis, formation of a bone spur, or fracture causing a narrowing of the shoulder joint.

  • Inflammation: Tissue swelling at the shoulder.

  • Congenital: Some individuals are born with a bone formation that increases one’s propensity for primary shoulder impingement.

Trauma from a broken wrist, fall, or impact with swelling, can elicit carpal tunnel symptoms.

How rehabilitation therapy can help:

  • Manual treatment to improve mobility

  • Symptom management techniques to reduce discomfort

  • Modalities to facilitate the healing process

  • Education on body awareness, detecting body cues, and proper posture/positioning

  • Instruction by a skilled therapist in an individualized home exercise program designed to restore function

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Contact us today to schedule an evaluation.