Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

If you feel pain, pinching, stiffness in your shoulder with movement or a catch when raising your arm, you may have something called shoulder impingement syndrome.  Also know as bursitis or tendonitis, shoulder impingement syndrome is best known for its pain during movement, but it can also be painful during sleep.

This painful condition may be caused by repetative motions day after day, such as overhead movements, swimming , tennis, and other sports. Repetative motion can cause inflammation or swelling of the tendons and bursa(a sac of fluid that cushions your shoulder parts as they move) which then puts pressure on the joint space,  causing pain. Bone spurs and the shape of a bone called the acromion (shoulder pad) can also contribute to the pain.

Did you know that acupuncture can help shoulder impingement syndrome? In addition to getting rest and limiting the activities that cause you pain, acupuncture is an effective way to promote healing, boost circulation to the area, and stop the pain.

The number of acupuncture treatments needed vary for each individual, but the average number of sessions needed for this condition is four to six. Many people feel relief after one treatment and others may not notice their pain resolving until the third or fourth treatment.  Acupuncture is a cumulative process. This means that the results become more noticeable after each treatment.  Usually, one treatment  per week is recommended  until your symptoms subside. An acupuncture treatment  usually takes about one hour and includes acupuncture plus other healing tools such as electric stimulation, infrared heat, and massage.

Some tips to remember while your shoulder is healing include:

  • Get plenty of rest to promote healing.
  • Avoid activities that cause pain.This means no heavy lifting or high force movements.
  • Do not stop using your shoulder because inactivity can cause it to “freeze”, causing a condition known as frozen shoulder.
  • Maintain good posture.
  • Avoid raising your arms above your shoulders.
  • Vary your tasks to avoid repetative motion injuries.
  • Use ice for inflammation and heat to sooth aching muscles.
  • Get acupuncture to promote healing and relieve pain.

Let the healing begin!.