Shoulder Impingement

When the tendons of your “Rotator Cuff” get pinched or squeezed between the head of the humerus (arm bone) and the acromion (end of your collar bone). Symptoms:

  • Possible “catching” sensation when the arm is lowered
  • Generalized aching in the shoulders
  • Sharp pain when the shoulder when reaching behind your back
  • Pain when the arm is raised to the side of the body

What puts me at Risk?

Poor posture, overuse, too much lifting, muscle imbalances (weakness/tightness of certain muscles), injuries, falls.

Shoulder Impingement is a very common condition of the shoulder that many people suffer from. The classic symptoms are pain with lifting the arm to the side as well as behind the back. As this condition progresses, the motion and strength of the shoulder will worsen and you can begin to experience neck and elbow pain. The root cause of this condition will stem from poor shoulder mechanics (weakness/tightness) that promotes “compression” of the shoulder; however, the treatment of this via physical therapy is highly successful. If you are experiencing shoulder pain that increases when/if you raise your arm to shoulder height, contact Peak Physical Therapy for a FREE physical therapy consultation to see how they can help you.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your shoulder stiff? Can you rotate your arm in all the normal positions?
  • Does it feel like your shoulder could pop out or slide out of the socket?
  • Do you lack the strength in your shoulder to carry out your daily activities?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, you should consult an orthopaedic surgeon for help in determining the severity of the problem.


Sometimes, one of the shoulder joints moves or is forced out of its normal position. This condition is called instability, and can result in a dislocation of one of the joints in the shoulder. Individuals suffering from an instability problem will experience pain when raising their arm. They also may feel as if their shoulder is slipping out of place.


Impingement is caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade, called the acromion. Impingement problems can occur during activities that require excessive overhead arm motion. Medical care should be sought immediately for inflammation in the shoulder because it could eventually lead to a more serious injury.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is one of the most important components of the shoulder. It is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. The rotator cuff muscles provide individuals with the ability to lift their arm and reach overhead. When the rotator cuff is injured, people sometimes do not recover the full shoulder function needed to properly participate in an athletic activity.

Treatment of Shoulder Injuries

Early detection is the key to preventing serious shoulder injuries.

Shoulder Exercises

Often, an orthopaedic surgeon will prescribe a series of exercises aimed at strengthening the shoulder muscles. Here are some easy shoulder exercises that you can do to strengthen your shoulder muscles and prevent injuries.

Basic shoulder strengthening

Attach elastic tubing to a doorknob at home. Gently pull the elastic tubing toward your body. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times with each arm. Perform twice a day.

Wall push-ups

Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly perform a push-up. Repeat five times. Hold for a count of five. Perform twice a day.

Shoulder press-ups

Sit upright in a chair with armrest, with your feet touching the floor. Use your arms to slowly rise off the chair. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times. Perform twice a day.

Other Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medication also may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling.

What type of pain are you having?

Search here to find articles and videos related to your pain:

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories
Ankle & Foot Pain
Back Pain
Elbow Pain
Exercise/Workout Info
Hamstring Pain
Hand/Wrist Pain
Hip Pain
Knee Pain
Leg Pain
Mid Back Pain
Shoulder Exercises