Shoulder Impingement

Let’s talk about:
1️⃣the etiology of shoulder impingement.
Shoulder Impingement Results when the ball (️humeral head) is not moving cleanly in the socket (️glenoid fossa).

This can be due to:

⚠️Tightness in the joint capsule. This fibro-elastic tissue holds the joint together but must also have the plasticity to allow for complete movement.

(Side note: Frozen Shoulder is when the capsule stiffens and shrinks due to scar tissue...more on this later).

⚠️Tightness of the chest (️pectoralis major and minor) and anterior shoulder muscles (️biceps brachii) pull your posture forward and essentially “lower the ceiling” on the shoulder joint.

⚠️Weakness or lack of coordination in the rotator cuff. This grouping of 4 muscles are the “fine tuners” ensuring precise SPIN and SLIDE/GLIDE of the humeral head. The “primary movers” (️deltoids, biceps, pecs) may be compensating and adding to the problem!

⚠️Dyskinesis between the arm and the shoulder blade (️scapula). As the arm raises the scapula needs to elevate and rotate upward as well (Physical Therapy Fun Fact it actually works as a 2:1 ratio, twice as much humeral movement as scapular movement). Dyskinesis is often due to weakness/disuse of the stabilizing muscles (️mid and lower trapezius and rhomboid muscles).

The tendons of the rotator cuff as well as the ️long head of the biceps tendon, get trapped in the space between the humeral head and the bone that forms the point of the shoulder (️the acromion). They get pinched/rubbed ▶️ become inflammmed and painful ▶️ weaken due to inflammation ▶️ start to fray and tear. This is how shoulder impingement can lead to Rotator Cuff Tears and Biceps Tendon Tears

So you have Shoulder Impingement.

What are few things you can do?

Aside from getting it properly assessed by your PT

Here is one suggestion to get started:

✅Pec Stretch/Row Combo

  • As we said tightness of the anterior shoulder can pull your posture forward and close the ceiling on the shoulder joint.

STRETCH it out first to OPEN things up.

Then. Reinforce with something like a basic row to activate the mid and lower traps and rhomboids (to balance ⚖️ the opposing muscle groups).