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Rotator Cuff Impingement

November 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

rotator cuff impingementWith so much information readily available with the click of a mouse, it is not uncommon for individuals to get overwhelmed with information overload.  It can be difficult to decipher what is myth and what is the truth with regards to rotator cuff injuries and how to resolve them.

An example where many people get confused when it comes to rotator cuff impingement is that these injuries are actually two different injuries but with very similar symptoms.  You can suffer from a rotator cuff injury and/or suffer a shoulder impingement.

So what’s the difference between the two?

A rotator cuff injury is when you suffer a tear to one or more of the four rotator cuff muscles.  An impingement is normally used to describe the pinching of the rotator cuff muscles between the shoulder joint and the acromion.

What is common between a rotator cuff injury and an impingement is that they are primarily caused or occur from performing repetitive movements or motions over an extended period of time.  They rarely occur or develop suddenly out of nowhere.

As for rotator cuff symptoms and/or a shoulder impingement, they both tend to have the following in common:

  1. Shoulder discomfort and pain when sleeping on the affected side.
  2. A decrease is shoulder mobility and/or normal range of motion.
  3. Noticeable muscle weakness when lifting or extending your arms outwards and upwards.
  4. A rotator cuff popping, grinding or cracking noise in the shoulder when you move the arm of your affected shoulder away from your body or out to your side, away from you.
  5. Severe shoulder discomfort and pain when you hold your arms overhead or reach overhead for an extended period of time such as painting a ceiling, putting up curtains or lifting/retrieving items from a high shelf.

Many individuals who suffer from shoulder impingements actively workout with free weights or use weight machines at a gym or fitness center.  More specifically, when you lift weights or exercise with your arms above your shoulders, you put excessive strain on the shoulder joint, especially when using weight that is too heavy for your to keep proper and safe form.  The secret is to decrease the weight and keep your arms below shoulder height when exercising to help decrease strain and pressure on the shoulder joint to avoid impingement.

One specific exercise in particular that many people perform in a fitness centre that causes impingements is the lateral raise.   The key to performing this exercise properly is to stop at 80°, just below shoulder height or even less if the movement causes pain. Doing so and using light weights will decrease the chance of impingement.

But what is not so different about a rotator cuff injury and shoulder impingement is the way in which you treat and release them.  But don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank and spend a fortune at a physical therapy or massage therapy clinic.

To be honest and straight up front with you, all you really need to do to recover from a torn rotator cuff or shoulder impingement is implement simple techniques from the comfort of your own home, as you watch your favourite television show!

But it gets even better!  You don’t need any medical gadgets or special exercise equipment.

For those who have had enough of the sleepless nights, shoulder pain that increases in the evening and are sick of sitting on the sidelines instead of participating in their favourite sport, activity, or hobby, click on the Learn More button below to learn 4 simple steps to eliminate your shoulder pain at home!

rotator cuff impingement

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