Overcoming shoulder impingement

A sharp, sudden pain in your shoulder when you lift your arm overhead or backward can indicate shoulder impingement.

Shoulder impingement is a common cause of shoulder pain, and commonly associated with swimmers and baseball players, but previous shoulder injuries and aging are also risk factors.

In most cases, shoulder impingement is caused by overuse. Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach your upper arm bone to your shoulder. When you have a shoulder impingement, the rotator cuff catches or rubs against the top of your shoulder, or acromion.

Shoulder impingement can be treated with physical therapy. Be Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates in Downers Grove can help with pain management, therapy and exercises and offers patient education and functional training.

“People usually come in and need some help with pain. Your physical therapist will help you identify and avoid painful movements, as well as correct abnormal postures and faulty movement patterns to reduce impingement,” said Mary Lou Savino, Owner and President of Bet Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates. “Ultrasound, electrical stimulation and deep tissue light laser may be used to help decrease pain and inflammation. Ice can also help with pain.”

Be Fit PT & Pilates uses manual techniques, such as gentle joint movements, soft-tissue massage, and shoulder stretches and possibly different taping techniques.

Exercises and stretches to help your shoulder and shoulder blade move properly. Your physical therapist will determine which strengthening exercises are right for you, depending on your specific condition.

Learning proper posture is an important part of rehabilitation. For example, when your shoulders roll forward as you lean over a computer, the tendons in the front of the shoulder can become impinged. Your physical therapist will work with you to help improve your posture, and may suggest adjustments to your workstation and work habits.

As your symptoms improve, your physical therapist will teach you how to correctly perform a range of functions using proper shoulder mechanics. This training will help you return to pain-free function on the job, at home, and when playing sports.

Be Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515

(630) 964-4008, www.befitpt.com