Impingement Syndrome

Dear Medical Solutions,

My Dad was fixing his car, slipped on oil and fell on his shoulder. He put ice on it, rested, but the pain continued. He consulted with his doctor and was told that he had bursitis. He gave him medication, but his symptoms persisted. His doctor sent him to another doctor which told him that he had an impingement syndrome. What is this, and could a Chiropractic Orthopedist help this?

An impingement syndrome is a common condition of the shoulder seen in active young adults as well as in aging adults. This condition is closely related to shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis. This conditions may occur alone or in combination with other conditions. When an injury to the rotator cuff muscle occurs, it responds by swelling. However, because the rotator cuff muscle is surrounded by bone, when it swells a series of other events occur. The pressure within the muscle increases, which results in compression and loss of blood flow in the small blood vessels (capillaries). When the blood flow decreases, the muscle tissue begins to fray like a rope. Motions such as reaching up behind the back and
reaching up overhead to put on a coat or blouse, for example, increase pain. With conservative Chiropractic and Orthopedic rehabilitation, most patients with impingement syndromes respond well to treatment. If caught in it’s infant stage, the rehabilitation response is much quicker. Depending on the degree of impingement, these conditions could take weeks to
months to rehabilitate. Some cases may require a surgical technique, but the vast majority of patients who have impingement syndrome are successfully treated with Chiropractic and Non-Surgical Orthopedic rehabilitation . Treatment in our office often times includes interferential current, ultrasound, joint mobilization of the shoulder and adjacent joints such as the cervical and thoracic spinal regions Stretching and strengthening of the supraspinatus musculature, along with stabilization of the rotator cull muscles is also incorporated. Avoidance of offending activities such as repetitive overhead lifting until the condition settles down is paramount.

Obtaining a MRI is recommended at times to rule out a rotator cuff tear. With the proper rehabilitation, most patients with impingement syndromes can avoid surgery become pain free and resume a healthy, active lifestyle.

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