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Shoulder Impingement Exercises

Shoulder impingement is a common problem affecting many senior and middle-aged people. The exercises mentioned here, will help reduce the recovery time for this condition.
Ujwal Deshmukh Nov 18, 2018
Shoulder impingement syndrome is one of the many problems brought by aging. The human shoulder is made up of different parts, that contribute to the rotating movements of the arms and shoulders. Damage or injury to any of these parts can lead to problems in day-to-day activities.
Shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition, characterized by crimping of the bursa and the supraspinatus tendon between the upper arm bone and acromion. The acromion forms the uppermost layer of our shoulder bones. The bursa is a lubricant sac, and it acts as a soft cushion to prevent the grinding of the rotator cuff and the acromion.

Causes And Symptoms

Impingement is usually a result of prolonged use of the shoulders in one position. This can lead to pain and damage to the rotator cuff. Moreover, inadequate space between the rotator cuff and the acromion can also lead to impingement.
The shoulder structure is designed in such a way, that normally, the rotator cuff tendons swiftly slide over the acromion whenever you make upward movements with the arms.
However, in case of an impinged shoulder, grinding between these two takes place. People suffering from this generally show symptoms, such as pain while making upward and downward movements of the shoulder.
Along with this pain, the muscles tend to weaken. Often, pain is observed on performing movements. However, in some people, pain might be felt in the top external part, even if the shoulder is kept stable.
Shoulder impingement can be treated with the help of an ice pack, surgery, medications, and physical therapy. However, to recover quickly, certain exercises provide relief.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Exercises

The following are some exercises that would help relieve the pain in a comparatively short time. However, remember that you need to be regular, and follow the right technique, so as to get quick, positive results.

Exercise 1

Tricep stretch is a popular shoulder impingement stretching exercise.  It is easy yet effective. Place the palm of your right hand at the back of the head, with the elbow bent. Now, touch your right elbow with your left hand, and try to pull your right hand down.
Maintain this position for some time, and then, slowly come to the normal position. Repeat with the other hand. Do about 8-10 repetitions.

Exercise 2

Place both your hands at the back of the head, and then, gradually pull your elbows back.
Pull your elbows till you feel a sufficient stretch in the shoulder muscles. Hold this position for some seconds, and then repeat. Do about 9-10 repetitions.

Exercise 3

This is the easiest of all exercises. Just swing your arm forward, backward, and then sideways.
Further, you can rotate your arms in small circles. Rotation should cause sufficient stretch in the shoulder muscles.

Exercise 4

Stand straight with your back facing a door. Now, stretch your arms backward, and hold the door frame with your hands.
Gradually lean forward to stretch your shoulder and chest muscles. Stand in this position for about 4-5 seconds, and then, slowly come to the original position. 8-10 repetitions would suffice.

Exercise 5

Lean on a table, supporting your body with either of the arms. Now, let the other arm hang freely. Further, rotate your hanging arm in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction.
Once you do this, move your arm like a pendulum, in all the directions. Perform about 20-25 repetitions in each direction, with both the arms.
Remember to rest between repetitions, and also do not overstretch your muscles. While recovering from the shoulder impingement syndrome, avoid lifting heavy objects. Also, do not perform heavy sporting activities that might exert strain on the shoulders.
Follow the mentioned exercises and guidelines to recover from the condition in a short period of time. Of course, consult your doctor and confirm whether these exercises are suitable for your case.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader and does not intend to replace the advice offered by a medical expert.