Subacromial impingement syndrome is often called swimmer’s or tennis player’s shoulder, because of the rotator cuff tendinitis as the root of this pain.
This shoulder tendon inflammation can occur in people who often work with the arm above the shoulder. When raising the arm, the narrow space where the shoulder tendon normally slips is decreased and friction occurs at the bottom of the acromion (the “roof” of the shoulder). Pain is often very acute during the night, and daily activities become increasingly difficult (bra closure, hair washing …).
There is a conflict between the bottom of the acromion and the rotator tendons. People with this syndrome complain of shoulder pain during their daily activities, a weakness in the arm and trouble when raising the arm overhead.
This inflammation of the tendon will be confirmed by further examinations (ultrasound, arthrogram or MRI). In a first period, you will have to observe a period of rest for the shoulder, apply ice and use an anti-inflammatory treatment.
Rehabilitation sessions are useful to reduce pain and muscle contraction.
If pain persists, and during examinations, we find a bone spur on the acromion, arthroscopy will be what best technique for removing the subacromial impingement. Bursitis or inflammation of the layer that covers the rotator cuffs also acts in shoulder pain. In case of arthroscopy, ablating these bursitis will help alleviate pain. The surgical treatment is often necessary in about 20% of cases.
After arthroscopy, patients will have to keep the arm immobilized in a sling for two weeks. During this period, driving is prohibited; shoulder function will be recovered progressively between 6 [weeks] and 2 months after surgery with kinesiotherapy sessions.