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Shoulder Impingement

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Shoulder Impingement Treatment in Dubai at Emirates Hospitals Group. Shoulder impingement, a condition where the rotator cuff tendons become irritated or inflamed, is a common cause of shoulder pain. Our Orthopedic Department boasts of Dubai’s best orthopedic surgeons specializing in advanced shoulder care. We offer comprehensive treatment plans for shoulder impingement, helping you regain a pain-free and functional shoulder.

Understanding Shoulder Impingement

The rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons, keeps the shoulder joint stable and allows for movement. Shoulder impingement occurs when these tendons become pinched or compressed between the bony structures of the shoulder joint, often due to:

  • Repetitive overhead activities: Throwing sports, weightlifting, or jobs requiring frequent overhead work can irritate the tendons.
  • Bone spurs: Bony growths on the underside of the acromion (bone overlying the shoulder joint) can reduce space for the rotator cuff tendons.
  • Weakness and instability: Weak muscles or loose ligaments can contribute to impingement.
  • Posture: Poor posture can lead to shoulder imbalances and impingement.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

The hallmark symptom of shoulder impingement is pain in the front of the shoulder, often worsening with specific movements:

  • Pain with overhead activities: Reaching for objects overhead, combing your hair, or putting on a shirt can be painful.
  • Night pain: Pain may disrupt sleep, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.
  • Weakness: Difficulty lifting objects or performing activities requiring shoulder strength.
  • Limited range of motion: Reduced ability to raise your arm overhead or behind your back.
  • Catching or grinding sensation: A feeling of the shoulder catching or grinding with specific movements.

When to Seek Treatment for Shoulder Impingement

While some shoulder pain may improve with rest and simple self-care measures, it’s crucial to seek medical attention from the experts at Emirates Hospitals Group if you experience:

  • Persistent pain: Pain that interferes with daily activities and doesn’t improve with rest or home remedies.
  • Weakness: Significant difficulty performing daily tasks due to shoulder weakness.
  • Night pain: Pain that disrupts sleep and prevents restful nights.
  • Worsening symptoms: Symptoms that progressively worsen despite initial self-care measures.

Diagnosing Shoulder Impingement

Our experienced doctors at Emirates Hospitals Group will conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose your shoulder impingement. This typically involves:

  • Detailed Medical History: Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms, any history of injuries, and your activity level.
  • Physical Examination: The doctor will assess your shoulder for tenderness, swelling, range of motion, and strength. Specific tests will be performed to check for impingement and identify potential causes.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays can reveal bone abnormalities like bone spurs that might contribute to impingement. An MRI scan may be used in some cases to visualize soft tissues like tendons and muscles in greater detail.

Treatment Options for Shoulder Impingement

Treatment for shoulder impingement focuses on reducing inflammation, improving flexibility, and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint. The team at Emirates Hospitals Group will design a personalized treatment plan, which may include:

  • Non-surgical Management: This is the first line of treatment for most cases and often involves:
    • Rest: Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain.
    • Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area for short periods can reduce inflammation.
    • Anti-inflammatory medication: Over-the-counter or prescription medication can help manage pain and inflammation.
    • Physical Therapy: A dedicated physical therapist will design a personalized program to improve flexibility, strengthen the shoulder muscles, and correct posture to prevent future impingement.
    • Corticosteroid injections: Injections may be used in some cases to provide localized pain relief and reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: In rare cases where non-surgical management fails to provide relief, surgery may be considered. This typically involves arthroscopic subacromial decompression, a minimally invasive procedure to create more space for the rotator cuff tendons by removing a small portion of the acromion bone spur.

Recovery Process and Protocols

Post-Treatment Rehabilitation

  1. Early Rehabilitation: Focuses on gentle range-of-motion exercises and modalities to reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Progressive Strengthening: Gradual introduction of strengthening exercises to improve shoulder stability and prevent future injuries.
  3. Functional Training: Specific exercises tailored to daily activities or sports to restore full shoulder function and mobility.
  4. Patient Education: Guidance on posture correction, ergonomic principles, and activity modification to prevent recurrence of shoulder impingement symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shoulder impingement syndrome is often caused by repetitive overhead activities (such as painting or throwing), structural abnormalities in the shoulder joint (like bone spurs), or muscular imbalances that lead to inflammation and irritation of the rotator cuff tendons or bursa.

Yes, many cases of shoulder impingement can be effectively treated with conservative measures such as rest, activity modification, physical therapy to strengthen shoulder muscles, and anti-inflammatory medications. Corticosteroid injections may also provide relief by reducing inflammation in the shoulder joint.

Arthroscopic subacromial decompression is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that aims to create more space in the shoulder joint by removing inflamed tissue or bone spurs. This helps alleviate pressure on the rotator cuff tendons, reduce pain, and improve shoulder function with less post-operative pain and faster recovery compared to traditional open surgery.

Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the impingement and the individual’s healing process. Patients typically wear a sling for a few weeks post-surgery and begin physical therapy soon after to restore shoulder strength and mobility. Full recovery to pre-injury activities may take several months, with gradual improvement in shoulder function over time.

Last update date: 27-06-2024

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