What is it?
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that wrap closely around the shoulder joint. The muscles attach from the shoulder blade and connect to the arm bone (humerus) via four tendons. These tendons run through a tunnel that is called the subacromial space (so named because it is beneath the acromion bone). Narrowing of this tunnel, which can occur either because of a bony spur or injury and thickening of the tendons, can cause the tendons to catch in the tunnel. This is referred to as Subacromial Impingement.
What are the Symptoms?
Available treatment options for subacromial impingement:
This can be highly effective. Avoiding activities which worsen the shoulder pain will help to reduce the stress on the tendons and promote healing.
Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication may help to reduce and control symptoms, particularly in mild cases. Physiotherapy can also help to improve shoulder posture and the strength of the rotator cuff tendons, improving symptoms.
An injection of local anaesthetic and steroid may also be given into the subacromial space to help reduce inflammation around the tendons. This can be painful for the first 24 hours but, in combination with physiotherapy, can be very effective in reducing symptoms.