Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement problems are fairly common with individuals who perform overhead activities on a regular basis.  We tend to more frequently see this with athletes who play tennis, basketball, volleyball, and swimmers.  Shoulder impingement put in laymen’s terms is when there is a narrowing of space between the head of the humerus and the acromioclavicular joint or (AC Joint).

When space narrows it tends to rub on or pinch the muscles of the rotator cuff and causes the person to experience soreness or sometimes tendonitis to the area.  Athletes suffer from these problems most frequently because of the amount of time they are using their arms above shoulder level.  This repetitive motion, coupled with a lack of range of motion in the AC Joint will help to cause this type of shoulder pain.  Here is one example of how we begin to instruct others how to alleviate these symptoms.  With each of these stretches make sure you are only using 3-5 ounces of pressure to assist and only hold the stretch for 1 ½ to 2 seconds at the end of the movement.

Before doing these steps we would recommend that you consult a medical professional to make sure there are not any contraindications due to a tear to the muscles, tendons or ligaments in the shoulder.

Ice the area on top of the shoulder to help to decrease the swelling to the AC Joint.  It is also at times helpful to use some sort of analgesic such as Biofreeze for pain control.

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1

The first exercise we teach is the Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1.  This allows the shoulder to begin to stretch and open up the Internal Shoulder Rotator Muscles.

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1

Start

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1

Finish


Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 2

The second exercise follows up with the Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 2 to open up the rest of the Internal Shoulder Rotator Muscles.

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 2

Start

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 2

Finish


Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch Method 1

After we open up the internal shoulder rotator muscles we will work to open up the External Shoulder Rotator muscles using the Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch Method 1.

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1

Start

Shoulder External Rotation Stretch Method 1

Finish


Shoulder Internal Rotator Stretch Method 2

Following up the beginning stretch for the external shoulder rotator muscles we will perform the Shoulder Internal Rotator Stretch Method 2 in order to open up the remaining external shoulder rotator muscles.

Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch Method 2

Start

Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretch Method 2

Finish


Shoulder Impingement Exercise Stretch

The final stretch we would recommend would be the Shoulder Impingement Exercise Stretch.  You perform this using sideward elevation motion with the palm facing backward leading with the little finger upward.  This will help to open up the space between the head of the humerus and the AC Joint.

Shoulder Impingement Exercise Stretch

Start

Shoulder Impingement Exercise Stretch

Finish


This is a very basic example of what you can try and do for yourself at home to help alleviate any pain or discomfort from this type of problem.  If you still have issues after following some of these steps I would recommend you to seek assistance from either a medical doctor or you can reach out to an AIS Practitioner near you.  On the front page of our site, you can type in your address and it will show you to an AIS Practitioners near you.

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Posted by Lance Mattes on April 11, 2019 in Shoulder Impingement