Subacromial impingement is a very common problem relating to the shoulder area, accounting for almost 50% of the shoulder pain complaints. It is a very small space covered by bones on all spaces, and in fact, only when there is inflammation in this area does the space become evident on radiographs. There are various tendons and muscles, which work together to allow for shoulder movement upwards and downwards and front and the back. With repeated movements, these tendons get impinged or pinched and so cause limited motion, pain, swelling, instability, etc.
This injury is very common in people who use the shoulder repeatedly and in similar movements, especially with sportspersons like basketball, swimmers, etc. Non-sportspeople like painters and construction workers can also sustain this injury, given the repetitive motion of the shoulder joint.
What causes subacromial impingement?
If a person has subacromial impingement, the symptoms will include:
As the condition progresses, the symptoms worsen and gradually can lead to calcifications in the tendon space and loss of shoulder strength. The impingement can go through 3 stages, with both age and symptoms increasing with each stage.
Management: Conservative measures like resting, ice and heat therapy, medications, and exercise are the first line of therapy. When the condition persists even after 3 to 4 months, then surgical intervention is required.
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