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  • Writer's pictureChang Min Lee

A Holistic Approach to Treating Shoulder Impingement Syndrome



Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition that causes pain and discomfort in the shoulder joint. It occurs when the shoulder muscles and tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motions or trauma. There are various treatments available for shoulder impingement syndrome, but many people find relief through a holistic approach that combines physical therapy, dry needling, rest, stretching exercises, and lifestyle modifications such as posture correction or ergonomic changes at work. With this comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual needs and goals, you may be able to reduce your shoulder pain while improving your overall quality of life. When you opt for a holistic approach to shoulder impingement syndrome treatment, you are giving yourself the best chance of reducing shoulder pain and improving shoulder health. This approach takes an individualized approach to your shoulder needs and goals, creating a customized plan that is tailored to your unique situation. Through physical therapy, dry needling, rest, and lifestyle modifications, you can work towards shoulder pain reduction and an improved quality of life.


Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome


Symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome often include shoulder pain, weakness in the shoulder muscles, difficulty performing overhead motions, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. People with shoulder impingement may also experience numbness or tingling sensations down their arms. It's important to note that not all people will experience these symptoms at the same time or even at all; however, any combination of these symptoms could be an indication of shoulder impingement syndrome. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to receive proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.



Causes and Risk Factors


Common causes of shoulder impingement syndrome include repetitive overhead motions, muscle imbalances, poor posture or ergonomics, rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability or dislocation, excessive weight training without proper form or rest days in between workouts and age-related degeneration. Certain activities like swimming, throwing sports or racket sports may also increase the risk of developing shoulder impingement syndrome due to the repetitive nature of these activities. Additionally, people who do manual labor jobs such as construction workers are more likely to experience shoulder injuries due to repeated lifting tasks throughout their day. It's important to be aware of potential risk factors for shoulder impingement so you can take steps towards prevention before it becomes an issue for you!



How Shoulder Impingement Syndrome affects Quality of Life


Shoulder impingement syndrome can significantly impact one's quality of life. Not only does shoulder impingement cause pain, weakness and stiffness in the shoulder joint, but it can also lead to decreased range of motion, difficulty performing everyday tasks such as reaching overhead or lifting items and even numbness or tingling sensations down the arms. All of these symptoms can make it difficult to do simple activities that many people take for granted such as brushing our hair, carrying groceries or tying shoelaces.


Moreover, shoulder impingement can also lead to decreased confidence in participating in physical activities such as sports or recreational activities due to a fear of shoulder pain or re-injury. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation shoulder impingement syndrome may worsen over time, leading to further limitations



Holistic Treatments For Shoulder Impingement Syndrome


Fortunately, there are many treatments available for shoulder impingement syndrome, one of which is the use of holistic approaches. Holistic treatments for shoulder impingement involve looking at the body as a whole system instead of focusing on just the shoulder joint itself. This type of treatment focuses on improving overall strength, flexibility and balance in order to reduce shoulder pain and improve mobility. One popular holistic treatment for shoulder impingement is dry needling, which involves inserting thin needles into shoulder muscles to reduce tension and increase blood flow to aid in healing. In addition to dry needling, other holistic treatments such as physical therapy exercises or massage therapy may also be beneficial in treating shoulder impingement syndrome.



Diet and Nutrition Considerations


When it comes to shoulder impingement syndrome, many people overlook the importance of diet and nutrition in helping manage their condition. Eating a balanced diet full of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can provide essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for shoulder health. In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding processed foods high in sugar or trans-fats is important for reducing inflammation in the shoulder joint which can help reduce shoulder pain associated with shoulder impingement syndrome. Additionally, proper hydration is also important for shoulder health as dehydration can lead to decreased flexibility and strength in the shoulder muscles.



Exercise and Physical Therapy


Exercise and physical therapy are two important components of a holistic approach to treating shoulder impingement syndrome. Exercise focuses on strengthening the shoulder muscles and improving flexibility, while physical therapy helps to restore range of motion in the shoulder joint and reduce pain. Both exercise and physical therapy can be used together or separately depending on the individual's needs. By incorporating exercises such as shoulder stretches, rotator cuff strengthening exercises, core stability work, and other shoulder-specific movements into your routine you can help prevent shoulder injuries from occurring by building strength in the shoulder joint. Additionally, working with a qualified physical therapist can also help you regain lost range of motion due to an injury or chronic condition such as shoulder impingement syndrome.


Dry needling is one component of shoulder impingement syndrome treatment that has proven to be highly effective. This therapy involves inserting thin needles into the shoulder muscles in order to reduce pain and tension. By targeting specific points on the shoulder muscles, dry needling can help relax tight muscles and ease discomfort. Additionally, it can improve blood flow to the shoulder muscles, aiding in the healing process.



Stress-Management Techniques and Mindfulness Practices


Stress-management techniques and mindfulness practices are important components of a holistic approach to treating shoulder impingement syndrome. Stress can cause tension in the shoulder muscles, making it difficult for them to relax and heal properly. Mindfulness practices, on the other hand, help to reduce stress levels by allowing us to focus our attention on the present moment without judgement or worry. With regular practice of both stress management techniques and mindfulness practices, shoulder pain associated with shoulder impingement syndrome can be reduced while also improving overall physical health.



When to Consult a Medical Professional for Treatment


When shoulder impingement syndrome is causing pain and discomfort, it's important to know when to consult a medical professional for treatment. While an effective holistic approach can involve diet modification, exercise therapy, stress-management techniques, alternative therapies such as dry needling and massage, mindfulness practices and other natural healing methods – if symptoms persist or worsen over time it’s best to seek out medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. A physical therapist can provide an accurate diagnosis of shoulder impingement syndrome as well as recommend the most appropriate treatments for your individual needs. Consulting with a medical professional is also beneficial in cases where shoulder pain persists despite trying at-home remedies or when the shoulder joint has been injured due to trauma or overexertion.


At SKYE Physiotherapy, we understand the importance of treating shoulder impingement syndrome holistically. Our experienced team of physiotherapists are committed to helping you find natural and effective ways to reduce shoulder pain and improve mobility. We use a combination of diet modification, exercise therapy, stress-management techniques, alternative therapies such as dry needling and massage, chiropractic care, mindfulness practices and other natural healing methods tailored specifically for your individual needs. With our holistic approach to shoulder impingement syndrome treatment – we can help you get back on track with less pain and faster recovery times! Contact us today if you’re ready to start feeling better now!



Chang-Min (Skye) Lee, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, COMT, CMTPT

8000 Locust Mill Street Suite P Ellicott City, MD 21043

(410) 357-6500


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