One of the most common causes of shoulder pain that we see in our clinic is called “shoulder impingement syndrome.”
If you haven’t experienced this condition yourself, it is likely that you know someone that has suffered from it. The main symptoms include pain at the side or front of the shoulder, which may ache at rest and cause very sharp, sudden pain with certain movements. This can make simple tasks like reaching overhead or reaching behind to put a coat on very difficult and painful.
Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when some of tendons and/or bursa of the shoulder become impinged by a boney structure of the shoulder. The most common tendon that gets impinged and results in pain and lack of shoulder mobility is a tendon of the rotator cuff, the Supraspinatus tendon. This tendon travels through a very narrow space (the subacromial space) formed by the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm bone (humerus). When the tendon becomes impinged, it can swell and cause pain leading to tendonitis. If the impingement is left untreated, over time, more complications of the shoulder can occur such as rotator cuff tendon tears or frozen shoulder.
Shoulder impingement syndrome typically develops gradually over time from repetitive movements or postures such as: painting, seated mousing, lifting overhead, certain yoga poses or hair dressing.
At Poke Acupuncture our shoulder pain treatment begins with a thorough western orthopedic assessment of the neck, and the shoulder. We test for muscular imbalances, weakness, pain and restricted mobility. Specific therapies will be chosen depending on your needs and our assessment findings. Some of the therapies that may be utilized may include: acupuncture, dry needling, electro- acupuncture, massage therapy, cupping therapy, kinesio taping, herbal liniments, and corrective exercises.
Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist
Dutton, Mark, Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation and Intervention (McGraw-Hill Companies, 3rd ed, 2012)
McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). © Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, 2017: http://www.acupuncture.org.au.