Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement Specialist
Your shoulder is made up of many joints, tendons, and muscles that permit a vast range of motion in your arm, but also leave the area susceptible to damage. Shoulder impingement is a common physical injury that elicits a gradual onset of painful symptoms. Dr. Steven E. Nolan is an extensively qualified orthopedic surgeon, knowledgeable in sports medicine and capable of treating shoulder impingement with great skill and care. You can call or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment at Steven E. Nolan, MD in Sugar Land, Texas.

Shoulder Impingement Q & A

by Steven E. Nolan, M.D.

What is shoulder impingement?

You might have heard of swimmer’s shoulder or thrower’s shoulder, both colloquial terms for shoulder impingement. Often associated with these sports, shoulder impingement occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become impinged as they pass through the narrow joint.

Repetitive pinching then causes the tendons to become irritated and inflamed, which snowballs into further shoulder damage and defines the condition as a syndrome.

What are symptoms of shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement leads to symptoms of pain and swelling at the joint site. You may experience pain and stiffness when you lift or lower your arm. The symptoms tend to worsen as the problem progresses. Upon its onset, you may first notice:

  • Minor pain, regardless of movement
  • Radiating pain that moves from the front of the shoulder to the side of the arm
  • Sudden pain that comes with lifting and reaching
  • Pain when throwing or serving in sports

Patients usually begin to seek treatment as symptoms progress, leading to:

  • Pain at night
  • Loss of strength and motion
  • Difficulty performing activities that place the arm behind the back

Any tenderness at the shoulder should require medical attention. It’s best to treat the problem before it affects surrounding areas and develops into a more critical condition.

What are causes of shoulder impingement?

Many athletes often experience shoulder impingement because they constantly move their arm and shoulder.

Swimmers, baseball players, and tennis players are particularly prone to the condition as they take part in overhead uses of the arm. Shoulder impingement may also arise from repetitive lifting or a minor injury.

How is shoulder impingement treated?

Dr. Steven Nolan aims to repair shoulder impingement and restore full function through various measures that depend on the extent of your injury. He may suggest methods that include:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery

When the less invasive measures aren’t effective in treating the problem, Dr. Nolan offers arthroscopy to treat shoulder impingement.

This procedure requires only a small incision to insert a fiber-optic scope that relays video images to a screen. He can then use thin instruments to remove bone and soft tissue as necessary.

Contact Steven E. Nolan in Sugar Land, Texas to learn what kind of treatment your case may require.

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