Three shoulder impingement exercises used in physical therapy

A common cause of shoulder pain that affects many people is shoulder impingement syndrome. However, you’re probably more familiar with its common name — pinched shoulder.

Shoulder impingement syndrome causes pain in the shoulder and limits its range of motion. The condition can develop due to overuse of the shoulder in physical activity or from an injury that causes the rotator cuff tendons to become pinched or compressed in the acromion bone of your shoulder.

Treatments for shoulder impingement vary depending on cause and severity. In many cases, physical therapists can guide patients through gentle exercises that help reduce and prevent shoulder pain.

Three shoulder impingement physical therapy exercise examples

Physical therapy treatments should always be personalized to the needs of each individual patient. 

Some examples of exercises that your physical therapist could use in your treatment include:

  1. Scapula retraction — This exercise aims to help prevent you from hunching your shoulders, which can contribute to shoulder impingement syndrome. Your physical therapist will have you raise your shoulders, roll them back and then hold this position for a few seconds.
  2. Scapula push — To perform this exercise, your physical therapist will have you hold your arm straight out in front of you. They will then have you reach forward by moving your shoulders only and holding the position for a few seconds. They may also have you place your hand on a wall while doing this technique and push against your own body weight for added resistance.
  3. Lying down side rotations — Lie down on your side with your upper arm flat against your body beneath you. Your forearm should be out in front of you at a 90-degree angle. From this position, your physical therapist will have you raise your forearm toward your chest without straightening your elbow.

    You can also perform the opposite version of this exercise. While lying on your side like in the previous exercise, your upper arm on the side of your body toward the ceiling should be flat against your side and your forearm should be across your chest. From this position, you will engage in raising your arm toward the ceiling by moving it upward without bending at the elbow.

Visit Continuum Wellness for shoulder impingement treatment

While you may want to try some of the exercises at home on your own, you are better off seeing a physical therapist instead to make sure these exercises are what you need. Our physical therapists at Continuum Wellness can examine your condition and determine what treatments are right for you. Contact our team today for more information about shoulder impingement treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.

For more information, Contact Us Today.

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