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Shoulder Impingement

February 26, 2018

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome (SIS) is caused by the tendons of your rotator cuff (a group of muscles in your shoulder) being pinched as they pass through a narrow space in your shoulder joint called the subacromial space.


SIS is not exactly a diagnosis in itself but more of a clinical sign. This is because there are several things that can cause impingement in the shoulder. One example is injury or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons. This creates less subacromial space. In the picture above you can see that if you are to lift your arm out to the side that space reduces even further, pinching on the tendons.

Treatment is initially focussed on reducing pain and inflammation. Rest, ice, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, taping etc. may all help. Once the pain settles, physiotherapy will be based on what specifically is the cause of the impingement for you. As mentioned above, this may be a rotator cuff tear, so we may need to work on exercises to rehabilitate that. Very often, incorrect biomechanics (basically the way in which you move) might be the issue, and we may need to work on correcting your posture and how you perform your everyday activities or sport.

If you’re having shoulder pain and you’re not sure if you have impingement syndrome or not, please call one of our physiotherapists at 01 441 0100 who will be glad to help you.