Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common and often painful condition affecting many people, from athletes to those engaged in repetitive overhead activities. Patients with shoulder impingement benefit from the expertise of Dr. Michael Bercik, a renowned orthopedic surgeon at Lancaster Orthopedic Group.

Shoulder ImpingementDr. Bercik specializes in the treatment of shoulder conditions, including shoulder impingement. With his advanced training in shoulder and elbow ailments, including international fellowships and a solid academic foundation, Dr. Bercik offers expert, patient-focused care for those suffering from this painful condition.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated and inflamed as they pass through the subacromial space, the narrow bony channel in the shoulder. This can lead to pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion, making everyday activities difficult.

Causes and Risk Factors

The condition can result from repetitive overhead activities, poor posture, or an injury. Athletes in sports such as baseball or swimming, individuals with jobs requiring overhead work, and older adults are particularly at risk. Structural abnormalities and age-related wear and tear can also contribute to the development of shoulder impingement.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

The most common symptom is pain, often felt on the front or side of the shoulder and possibly radiating down the arm. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty reaching up behind the back
  • Weakness in the shoulder muscles
  • Pain when lifting the arm
  • A sensation of pinching or discomfort when moving the shoulder in certain ways

Diagnosis and Treatment of Shoulder Impingement

A thorough examination, including a medical history review and physical tests, is necessary for diagnosis. Imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds may be used to rule out other conditions and confirm impingement.

Treatment typically starts with conservative measures:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that aggravate the condition is often the first step in treatment.
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can guide patients through exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles, improve flexibility, and correct posture.
  • Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: These may be considered for more severe or persistent cases to reduce inflammation and pain.

If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be considered. The most common surgical treatment for shoulder impingement is arthroscopic subacromial decompression, where inflamed tissue is removed, and the space for shoulder movement is increased.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

The recovery process varies depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment method. Physical therapy remains a key component in rehabilitation, focusing on restoring range of motion, strengthening shoulder muscles, and preventing future issues.

Prevention strategies include regular shoulder exercises to maintain strength and flexibility, proper technique during sports or work activities, and good posture to reduce strain on the shoulder.

Expert Care with Dr. Michael Bercik

Dr. Berick’s approach to treating shoulder impingement is patient-centered, combining advanced surgical techniques with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. His extensive training has equipped him with a broad spectrum of treatment options, ensuring that each patient receives care tailored to their needs.

Shoulder impingement syndrome, while common, can significantly impact quality of life. However, with proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, patients can experience considerable relief and return to daily activities. Under the care of an experienced orthopedic specialist like Dr. Michael Bercik, individuals suffering from shoulder impingement have access to the highest quality of care, from initial consultation through to full recovery.

If you need an excellent orthopedic shoulder specialist, don’t hesitate to call 717.560.4200 or request an appointment online.