Subacromial impingement physio in Newcastle

Fitness Physiotherapy in Newcastle treat shoulder subacromial impingement injuries with evidence based treatments for pain relief and return to sport and daily activities.  Evidence based treatments have been shown to be effective through clinical research, giving people a successful return to sport and life. shoulder pic                                   

Shoulder joint anatomy

The shoulder is a complex ball and socket joint, made up of the glenoid (socket) and humeral head (ball).   In between the two bones is cartilage.  The collar bone comes across the front to meet the shoulder blade.

Ligaments and a surrounding capsule hold the joint together, keeping the joint stable with the muscles and tendon which also provides the movement.

 

Subacromial impingement

 

What is subacromial impingement?

Subacromial impingement is a term used to describe pain or loss of strength and function emanating from the subacromial space. This is the space between the acromion and the supraspinatus.

 

subacromial space

 

 

How do you get subacromial impingement?

Subacromial impingement is thought to be caused be an inflammatory process in the subacromial space.  There are number of theories as to why you can get pain from the this area.

One theory is that you get excessive rubbing ( it is normal to have some rubbing of the tendon onto the structures above it ) of the supraspinatus tendon onto the acromion.  This over time can cause an inflammatory reaction to the structures in that area including the bursa, tendon, joint capsule or bone underneath.

There are many factors thought to contribute to subacromial impingement. including

  • tears of the underlying tendon
  • shape of the above acromion
  • thickening of the overlying ligament
  • bursitis
  • tendon degeneration causing the shoulder bone to elevate
  • muscular dysfunction
  • posture 

 

What is the Physiotherapy treatment for a shoulder impingement?

Exercise therapy is the first line of treatment for anyone with subacromial impingement.  Exercise therapy focuses on addressing all the soft tissue factors that cause subacromial impingement,  This would usually involve strengthening muscles to normalise movement and reduce irritation in the subacromial space. Advice to manage excessive stresses are important to reduce further aggravations and activity modifications are usually prescribed.

 

How long does it take to recover from subacromial impingement?

The time for recovery is dependent on the degree to which the factors causing the impingement are limiting the function of the shoulder and can vary greatly from 2 weeks to 6 months.  

 

What other treatments are there for subacromial impingement?

Other treatments for subacromial impingement include

  • shoulder decompressive surgery
  • cortisone injections

 

At Fitness Physiotherapy in Newcastle, we treat subacromial impingement with evidence based treatments for pain relief and return to sport and play .