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Do You Have These Telltale Signs of Shoulder Impingement?

Do You Have These Telltale Signs of Shoulder Impingement?

Your shoulder is a marvel of engineering. Joints, tendons, muscles, and bones all work together to give your arm a huge range of motion.

You don’t think much about how these elements collaborate to make your shoulder function — until one isn’t working correctly.

Shoulder impingement is one of the issues that can arise with repeated shoulder motion. Your rotator cuff (a group of muscles and tendons that attach your upper arm bone to your shoulder and help you lift and rotate your arm) sits under the top edge of your shoulder blade, called the acromion. Shoulder impingement occurs when your rotator cuff tendon catches or rubs against the acromion as you lift your arm, causing the space between your rotator cuff and the acromion to narrow. The impingement can get worse as the tendon swells, and bone spurs on the acromion can also worsen it.

Read on to find some telltale signs of shoulder impingement, courtesy of Dr. Steven E. Nolan in Sugar Land, Texas.

Pain when you raise your arm

Pain when you raise your arm is the most common symptom of shoulder impingement. The pain occurs when you raise your arm above your head or reach behind you; it can occur right at the shoulder, at the top of the arm, and even down the outside of the arm. The pain can be achy and dull or intense and sharp, and it can occur during activities such as throwing a ball or reaching to grab something off a shelf.

Weakness in your shoulder

Difficulty performing certain motions or lifting objects that normally wouldn’t cause a problem are signs of shoulder impingement. You may notice this when lifting your arm against resistance or attempting a task that requires strength.

Limited range of motion

A shoulder impingement curtails your normal range of motion. You may not be able to raise your arm completely, rotate it, or put it behind your back, making it difficult to perform tasks such as putting on a shirt, combing your hair, or brushing your teeth.

Shoulder stiffness

Shoulder impingement can also cause stiffness in your shoulder, making your shoulder feel tight and causing more difficulty in moving it freely. This decreased mobility can affect your ability to carry out daily tasks.

If you need evaluation or treatment for shoulder impingement, Dr. Nolan is one of the best resources available. Call our Sugar Land office or our online scheduler to make an appointment.

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