The bones, tendons, and muscles of the shoulder work together to allow for smooth rotation and movement. Sometimes overuse or repetitive overhead arm movements can cause the tendons and muscles that lift your arm to become inflamed. Impingement occurs when the shoulder blade starts to rub on the tendons, irritating the rotator cuff. The team at California Orthopedics & Spine is highly qualified to diagnose and treat rotator cuff injuries and conditions.
Sometimes shoulder pain caused by impingement or inflammation of the shoulder tendons is called rotator cuff tendinitis, swimmer’s shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder, or tennis shoulder. These sports involve a lot of overhead arm movements. Raising the arm above shoulder height can narrow the space between the shoulder blade and the rotator cuff tendon. Certain professions that involve overhead arm work, such as painting or construction, also increase the likelihood of rotator cuff-related pain.
Signs of Shoulder Impingement/Rotator Cuff Pain
Shoulder impingement tends to get worse without treatment, and over time, bone spurs and other more serious conditions can develop. If you or your child notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible:
- Pain in the front of the shoulder and side of the arm
- Pain or clicking sounds when raising the arm
- Stiffness or loss of mobility/strength
- Pain during both rest and activity
- Difficulty using the arm behind the back
Treatment for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Cases of shoulder impingement that are not too severe can often get better with rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication. If these measures alone are not enough, physical therapy will likely be recommended. Certain exercises and physical therapy treatments can help return your range of motion and ease the pressure on your tendons.
When these measures are not enough to control your shoulder pain, a steroid injection may be recommended. Surgery is the last resort if all other treatment methods are not successful at relieving the rotator cuff. Distal clavicle excision is one of the most common procedures to relieve shoulder impingement. Most patients experience a full recovery and return to full shoulder function after surgery and rehabilitation.
Shoulder Impingement in Novato and Larkspur, CA
If you experience pain in your shoulder, our specialists are here to help. Give our office a call, and one of our staff members will be happy to assist you in scheduling an appointment. A consultation appointment will allow our joint specialists to diagnose your condition and help you return to your normal routine.