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Overcoming Shoulder Impingement in Richmond

Shoulder impingement is a common cause of shoulder pain that affects many people living in Richmond. Impingement occurs when there is irritation or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons or bursa in the shoulder joint. This leads to pain especially with overhead arm movements. Fortunately, you can follow Shoulder Impingement in Richmond and improve shoulder function.

What Causes Shoulder Impingement?

There are a few key factors that contribute to shoulder impingement. While learning about Upper Arm Impingement in Richmond, you should also be aware of the reasons behind shoulder impingement.

  • Overuse – Repeated overhead reaching and lifting can irritate the rotator cuff over time. Sports like tennis, swimming, and weightlifting that involve a lot of overhead arm motions increase overuse.
  • Poor posture – Slumped posture causes the shoulder joint to drift forward, reducing space for the rotator cuff. This increases irritation with movement.
  • Weak rotator cuff – The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulder joint. Weakness in these muscles can lead to imbalances and impingement.
  • Age – Impingement becomes more common as we get older due to degenerative changes in the shoulder.

The Best Exercises to Treat Shoulder Impingement

Treating impingement requires relieving irritation and pressure on the rotator cuff while restoring strength and mobility. The key is choosing the right exercises that avoid aggravating the condition further. Here are some of the top exercises for shoulder impingement:

  • Pendulum Swings – This gentle exercise takes pressure off the rotator cuff. Lean forward at the waist and swing your arm in a circular motion to mobilize the shoulder.
  • External Rotations – Use a resistance band or light weight to externally rotate your arm away from your body. This strengthens the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Wall Slides – Slowly slide your arm up and down a wall to open up the shoulder joint space and improve posture.
  • Scapular Retractions – Pinch your shoulder blades together to strengthen the upper back. This improves shoulder blade stability.
  • Doorway Stretches – Hold the sides of a door frame and lean forward to stretch the front of the shoulder gently.
  • Rows – Bent-over rows with resistance bands or dumbbells work the posterior shoulder muscles.
  • Shoulder Blade Squeezes – Draw your shoulder blades down and back, then release. This mobility exercise reduces impingement.


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When to See a Physical Therapist

While these exercises can often resolve impingement, it’s best to get assessed by a physical therapist if you have severe or persistent pain. They can prescribe specific exercise protocols tailored to your needs. Other treatment options include:

  • Manual therapy to improve shoulder mobility
  • Posture correction
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilizations
  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation

Surgery may be required in severe cases that fail to improve with conservative treatment. An orthopaedic specialist can determine if surgery is appropriate.

Preventing Shoulder Impingement

Some proactive steps you can take to avoid developing shoulder impingement include below.

  • Maintaining good posture and shoulder positioning during daily activities
  • Stretching the chest, shoulders, and arms regularly
  • Strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers with exercises
  • Using proper technique and avoiding overtraining with overhead arm exercises
  • Resting the shoulder adequately between workouts
  • Staying within a healthy weight range
  • Avoiding sleeping on your side if you have shoulder pain

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Shoulder Impingement

Seeking help from a physical therapist is highly recommended if you are dealing with shoulder impingement. An experienced physical therapist can provide many benefits beyond just prescribing exercises. Here are some of the key benefits of physical therapy:

Manual therapy techniques to improve mobility of the shoulder joint and surrounding soft tissues. This immediately reduces irritation and discomfort.

  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation deep in the shoulder tissues.
  • Dry needling and soft tissue massage to release muscle trigger points.
  • Electrical stimulation to activate and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Progressive loading protocols to gradually increase strength and functionality of the shoulder.
  • Posture re-training to correct any imbalances contributing to impingement.
  • Patient education on proper stretching, strengthening, and activity modification.
  • Custom exercise programs tailored to each patient’s needs and goals.
  • Guidance on safely returning to sports and overhead activities after rehabilitation.
  • Monitoring progress throughout recovery and adjusting treatments accordingly.

Partnering with a knowledgeable physical therapist can help you overcome shoulder impingement more quickly and completely. Their expertise and treatments accelerate healing beyond just exercise alone.

Final words

Shoulder impingement is a manageable condition with Shoulder Impingement Exercise in Richmond. Being proactive with shoulder health can help prevent many cases. If you develop persistent shoulder pain, get an assessment from a physical therapist or doctor to create an appropriate treatment plan. With some patience and commitment to rehab exercises, most cases of impingement can be resolved successfully.

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