Conservative Treatment of Shoulder Impingement

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Shoulder pain remains one of the most common reasons patients seek out care from both primary care physicians and Physical Therapists.  Shoulder impingement or the compression of shoulder tissues, including the rotator cuff tendons and bursa, is the most common diagnoses behind these patients' symptoms.  Physical Therapy remains a gold standard treatment for this condition to both identify the contributing causes for the symptoms and assist in the healing of the injured tissues.   A recent review of the evidence highlighted the most effective treatments for patients with shoulder impingement. 

Steuri and colleagues in the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a review of 177 articles on the treatment of shoulder impingement (2017).  The authors highlighted the effectiveness of manual therapy and exercise interventions for improving pain and function.  Specific, targeted exercises were more valuable than generic exercises highlighting the importance of matching an exercise intervention with a patient's condition and examination.  The authors concluded exercise should be utilized in patients with shoulder impingement and manual therapy may also be considered to help reduce short term pain.  In our practice, manual therapy allows patients to transition to an exercise program sooner than exercise alone. 

To learn more about how Physical Therapy can improve your shoulder condition contact your local Physical Therapist.