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While most joints have ligaments, tendons and muscles connected to the bones on the outside of the joint, the shoulder has tissue inside the joint. The rotator cuff and bursa are located between the humeral head and glenoid socket. This unique configuration can result in the rotator cuff and bursa impinging on joint movement if there is any swelling or inflammation. Our orthopedic specialists at DOCS Health offer effective shoulder impingement treatment at our Los Angeles medical center.

The rotator cuff is a muscle and tendon group that connect the shoulder blade to the top of the humerus in the main shoulder joint. The rotator cuff holds the glenohumeral joint together and is necessary for lifting and rotating the arm. When the arm is raised to shoulder height, the space between the acromion (the bony point of the shoulder) and rotator cuff and shoulder bursa is reduced. If the bursa or rotator cuff tendons are swollen or inflamed, this can restrict movement of the arm and shoulder, causing shoulder impingement.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is a result of one or more shoulder conditions. Rotator cuff injuries like tendonitis or tears can cause swelling and inflammation. Bone spurs or arthritis can cause rotator cuff inflammation or bursitis. The symptoms of shoulder impingement include:

  • Pain when lifting, throwing, reaching or raising arm overhead
  • Pain radiating from the front of the shoulder down the arm
  • Pain in shoulder when resting or sleeping
  • Weakness in shoulder
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Difficulty putting arm behind back

Shoulder impingement treatment depends on the cause of impingement. Rotator cuff injuries or tears can be treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medications and ice. Bursitis may respond to oral anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections. If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgical repairs may be needed to the rotator cuff, labrum or to remove bone spurs.

If you have symptoms of shoulder impingement, contact us at DOCS Health in Los Angeles to schedule your appointment. We can perform diagnostics to determine the cause of impingement and recommend an effective treatment plan for relief.