What Is Impingement?
The shoulder is a very mobile joint and its movement are controlled by the rotator cuff and deltoid muscles. The rotator cuff is a group of four deep flat tendons that blend together to surround the shoulder joint and hold the ball (humeral head) firmly within the socket (glenoid). Any problem with these muscles and their tendons’ function can cause the shoulder to ride up and rub against the bone on the top of the shoulder (acromion) causing jamming of the tendons (impingement).
What Causes Impingement?
There are three main causes:
- Lack of rotator cuff muscle strength or control
- Loss of shoulder flexibility (especially the capsule at the back of the shoulder) causing the shoulder to hinge forward and jam on movement
- Lack of space between the humeral head and the acromion
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Impingement
Shoulder impingement and tendonitis are common problems in the shoulder but usually settle with time, simple exercise and avoidance of aggravating activities. Some people are more prone to developing these problems due to the type of activities they do, the shape of the bones in the shoulder, or muscle imbalance.
Download our information sheet to learn more about Shoulder Tendonitis and Impingement and treatment options.