Shoulder impingement? Some advice on what not to do.

If you suffer with shoulder impingement, you will be aware of how painful it can be. Simple movements can ‘catch or pinch’ and lead to pain.

The condition commonly arises when one of the main muscles operating the shoulder becomes inflamed. The resulting inflammation means there is then less gap between the top of your shoulder and the underneath of your collar bone. When there is less space in essence it becomes easier to pinch structures as you move your arm.

Trying to avoid movements that decrease this space, will help you to improve faster. The space we are looking at is the gap between the top front of your shoulder blade where it joins your collar bone and the upper part of your long arm bone, your humerus.

The most aggravating movements will be thus;

  1. Overhead arm use
  2. Movements across the chest, especially around shoulder height.
  3. Carrying objects at arms length or away from your natural centre of gravity.
  4. Laying on the affected shoulder
  5. Push-ups or planks which load the arm
  6. Holding an object or pushing up at shoulder height
  7. Rolling over in bed and pushing up out of bed.

Whilst these activities are those most likely to aggravate you, it is important to keep mobile and to keep the shoulder strong and flexible. Don’t not move it, just take care how you move and use it. For more information about what exercises to do, ask your osteopath and see our other blog posts too.