What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is a common cause of shoulder pain, and it occurs when the supraspinatus tendon (rotator cuff tendon) and/or subacromial bursa gets irritated as it passes underneath the acromion (bone on top out edge of shoulder), known as the subacromial space. As the subacromial space gets narrowed, it creates excess friction on the tendon and bursa causing inflammation and pain.

The pain is typically most noticeable when trying to raise your arm above your head, shoulder abduction, reaching behind your back and when lying on the affected side.

Common causes of shoulder impingement:


-Postural stress/rounding of your shoulders

-Poor scapular stability

-Sleeping with arm above your head

Shoulder impingement can be treated very effectively with conservative care, but if symptoms are present for long periods or if left untreated, the rotator cuff tendon can start to thin and tear.


-A thorough and detailed evaluation

-Treatment of injured soft tissues (dry needling, A.R.T, class IV laser, IASTM and cupping)

-Restore joint mobility and increase range of motion

-Strengthen and stabilize (DNS and exercise rehabilitation)