Impingement Syndrome

An impingement syndrome is a condition whereby the soft tissues in the shoulder— the rotator cuff tendons; bursa or biceps tendon—are squeezed by a structure called the coracoaromial arch. (Don't fret about all of these names, just take our word for it.)

Causes:

> Tightness within the shoulder joint

> Weak rotator cuff

> Development of bony spurs

Symptoms:

> A pain when raising your arm upward or outward

Afriqiyah Woods, a prominent New York City physical therapist, had a patient, a young male, who regularly lifted weights at least three days per week. He began to experience pain when doing overhead lifting activities like the shoulder press and lat pull downs. First he followed doctor's orders and rested, iced the injured area, and took anti-inflammatories for two weeks. When he returned to the gym, the pain was back. What she discovered was that his rotator cuff and scapular muscles were weak and the muscles surrounding his shoulders were tight. Once all of this was addressed, Ms. Woods found that the amount of weight that he was lifting was too heavy, too soon.

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