Options for Shoulder Impingement Treatment

Shoulder impingement syndrome is known by many names including painful arc syndrome, swimmer’s shoulder, and subacromial impingement and this condition occur when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become inflamed as they move through subacromial space. As a result, there is reduced the flexibility of the shoulder, and weakness and pain will usually be experienced too. Pain usually intensifies if the shoulder is moved to an overhead position or, at night, when the individual lays upon that shoulder. Restricted movement increases the sense of frustration experienced. Pain may manifest as a dull ache, gradually occurring, or, it may suddenly manifest and be acute. There may be a grinding motion or a popping sensation. Elevation of the arm is likely to be painful but will also occur when applying downward force too although this will ease. Seeking medical assistance for shoulder impingement treatment is paramount.

Although other options are likely to be considered first, a subacromial decompression may be required which helps to prevent the bones and tendons rubbing together. Subacromial simply means under the acromion which is a part of the shoulder blade helping to form the shoulder joint. This is usually done through keyhole surgery and a general anesthetic would be required. When there is subacromial impingement, this means that the actual space between the rotator cuff tendons and the shoulder blade is reduced, typically through swelling and irritation or, the development of bony spurs. Where the latter occurs, it’s often as a result of osteoarthritis. Treatment enables this space to be extended and any inflamed bursa or bony spurs can be removed.

Any surgery can be worrying and so, it’s important for good communication to be in place and to speak to specialists in the field such as the Orthopedic Center, Arizona who can explain the process reducing any fears about the procedure. Any surgical operation will be carried out by an orthopedic surgeon who will guide each person through the process as is relative to their case. As a general anesthetic is likely, fasting will be necessary prior to the operation. Any individual who smokes will be asked to stop as smoking increases the risk of infection. The procedure takes approximately one hour although this will vary on an individual basis and a local anesthetic may also be injected into the shoulder nerves to reduce any discomfort experienced following surgery. Pain management is important and there will be options to ease discomfort. The surgeon may also decide to repair any damaged tendons at the same time.

Shoulder impingement treatment does not always require surgery. There are various causes and symptoms which may not mean invasive treatment at all. Certainly, resting the shoulder joint and avoiding extensive movements can help and doctors may suggest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines along with physiotherapy initially. Where necessary, steroid joint injections may be given. Note that subacromial decompression will only be recommended usually if other treatments have not helped. It can take up to four months for full recovery following surgery and most people will make a complete recovery.  Following up with physiotherapy is often beneficial to aid flexibility and to increase movement. It will also be important to build strength up in the shoulder joint too. Find out more by visiting OSPLarizona.com

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