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Impingement Syndrome (Shoulder) treatment guide

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Guide Overview:

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Impingement Syndrome is a chronic condition, which means that it often develops over a long period. It occurs when one or more of the tendons that move the arm become ‘pinched’ or ‘crushed’ between the bones of the shoulder joint. 

Causes (Aetiology)

Repetitive movements are almost always involved in the development of Impingement Syndrome; particularly activities which involve lifting or raising the arm. Eventually, the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become damaged, irritated, and painful.

Signs and symptoms

Impingement Syndrome often feels better with rest and a little pain relief but without effective rehabilitation, it always comes back when returning to normal activity, sport or exercise.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain into the affected shoulder when attempting to raise the arm

  • Pain which is worse during or after exercise and easier with rest

  • Tenderness when pressing the side or front of the shoulder joint

  • Difficulty doing day-to-day activities such as dressing or combing hair

Acute phase management

Most people fail in their treatment of Impingement Syndrome because they are unable to identify the cause of their pain. Once the source has been identified, effective steps can be taken to manage the symptoms.

Our treatment guide helps you identify what’s causing your pain and creates the right conditions to begin effective rehabilitation.

Post-acute phase management

Post-acute phase rehabilitation involves the staged introduction of isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle stretches, scar tissue removal, and proprioceptive exercises to strengthen the tendons and connective tissues.

Condition-specific exercises will help you achieve a full, pain-free range of movement to stop the symptoms coming back.


Impingement Syndrome responds well to self-treatment and conservative care; although recovery times are dependent on the severity of the condition.

Our treatment guide provides comprehensive tips and advice to achieve a full recovery in the shortest possible time.


If you follow the treatment guide correctly and are diligent with the rehabilitation programme, then complications are unlikely. However, without the correct treatment symptoms tend not to resolve and make even simple day-to-day tasks painful.

Boney osteophytes eventually form underneath the acromion bone in the shoulder which often necessitates the need for debridement or decompression surgery.

Periodic stretching and mobilisation to decompress the shoulder joint and reduce inflammation are just some of the techniques contained in our treatment guide to help prevent reoccurrence.

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Impingement Syndrome (Shoulder) treatment guide

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