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Impingement Syndrome, which is sometimes called Swimmer’s shoulder or Thrower’s shoulder, is caused by the tendons of the rotator cuff becoming impinged as they pass through the shoulder joint.
Symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome include pain in the shoulder which come son gradually over a period of time. There will be pain at the front and side of the shoulder joint, especially with overhead movements such as in throwing, racket sports and swimming.
There may be pain at the back and front of the shoulder when the arm is heal out to the side (abducted) and turned outwards (external rotation). Another give away sign of impingement is pain when lifting the arm above 90 degrees, particularly against resistance - see shoulder impingement tests.
Shoulder impingement syndrome, which is sometimes called Swimmer’s shoulder or Thrower’s shoulder, is caused by the tendons of the rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis muscles) becoming 'impinged' as they pass through a narrow bony space called the Subacromial space – so called because it is under the arch of the acromion. With repetitive pinching, the tendon(s) become irritated and inflamed.
This can lead to thickening of the tendon which may cause further problems because there is very little free space, so as the tendons become larger, they are impinged further by the structures of the shoulder joint and the muscles themselves.
Impingement Syndrome in itself is not a diagnosis, it is a clinical sign. There are at least NINE different diagnoses which can cause impingement syndrome. These include:
If left untreated, shoulder impingement can result in a rotator cuff tear.