Shoulder Exercises for Impingement Syndrome

In shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injuries and other shoulder joint dysfunctions, the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) tends to get jammed up into the shoulder joint. This is generally because the muscles are trying to protect the joint and prevent dislocation. Nevertheless, a jammed shoulder joint doesn't move fluidly and loss of range of motion and pain occurs.

Shoulder impingement syndrome is rampant these days with all of us on our computers so much with less than optimal posture. There are some things you can do to counteract and relieve shoulder impingement syndrome: change the way you habitually move your arm and the PENDULUM EXERCISE.

A common cause of shoulder impingement is when you raise your arm away from your side (abduction), with your shoulder joint rolled forward (internal rotation). This common postural pattern is the genesis of so many problems in the shoulder. There are a number of structures that get impinged and injured when we move this way. Micro-tearing in the supraspinatus muscle, the subacromial bursa and the long head of the biceps occurs each time even though there may not be pain. Micro-tearing is caused by a collision of two bones, which injures the surrounding soft tissue. However, over time these micro-tears become larger and begin reporting pain and/or loss of range of motion. Eventually these structures get fed up and yell a loud and unmistakable "OUCH!" This is why shoulder pain usually makes itself known in middle age.

The correct way to move your arm away from your side is with your "thumb up", which allows the shoulder joint to be in a neutral position.

A great shoulder exercise for relief from the pain of shoulder impingement syndrome is the Pendulum Exercise below. You can do it several times a day, if needed.

To learn more about the rotator cuff and ways to help yourself go to:Rotator Cuff Relief .

Other articles about the shoulder and the rotator cuf are at: Torn Rotator Cuff Exercises and Exercises for Rotator cuff Injuries


An excellent, gentle, releasing exercise for the shoulder joint is to come into a lunge position and allow the affected arm to hang down toward the floor. Circle that arm (imagine drawing small circles on the floor with your fingers) clockwise then counterclockwise. Even better is to use a hand weight, anywhere from five to ten pounds. This creates space for the head of the humerus, which tends to get jammed up in the joint.

Shoulder Exercises for Impingement Syndrome

Disclaimer: These article is for mild to moderate Impingement Syndrome and rotator cuff injuries. If you suspect you have a more serious injury please consult your doctor. Peggy Lamb/Massage Publications dba Rotator Cuff Relief shall not be liable for any damages in connection with, or arising out of anyone’s interpretation or application of the information on this site. Information on this web site should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prescribe. This article is published with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical or other professional services.
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