Shoulder impingement is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain in active adults. While it rarely requires surgery, it can take some time and work to overcome it. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain the process to recover from shoulder impingement and what options, in addition to physical therapy, can help.

Alex asks:
For shoulder impingement, what can a patient do if physical therapy is not working?

Shoulder impingement is essentially shoulder pain related to irritation or inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder and the bursa around the tendons. Common symptoms include pain when you reach overhead, pain when you reach behind your back, and pain reaching out away from your body. Usually it comes on over time instead of being caused by a traumatic event.

Physical therapy can help you recover from shoulder impingement

Fortunately, you can recover from shoulder impingement without surgery most of the time. As I discuss in this video, physical therapy can be extremely helpful in relieving your shoulder pain. I also explain some other options if you aren’t making progress with physical therapy as quickly as you would like.

Also read:
Signs your shoulder injury is serious
When can you return to work after rotator cuff surgery?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

Illustration of the rotator cuff tendons


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