Sub Acromial Impingement


  • Swimmers
  • Drivers
  • Racquet sports
  • Painters
  • Repetitive lifting


Sub Acromial Impingement is a common cause of shoulder pain. The symptoms including a pain or ache around the shoulder joint and outside of the upper arm. This pain is generally made worse by activity involving your arm behind your back or above your head. Most people with shoulder impingement generally describe it as a sharp catching pain.



Sub Acromial Impingement sufferers generally feel their pain in the morning and when there has been periods of use of the affected shoulder. More often than not this is an injury to sports men and women and tradesmen however it is not uncommon for office workers or people with domestic duties to experience this pain.


During normal movement of the shoulder, the rotator cuff muscles slide through a relatively small space underneath the bone on top of the shoulder known as the acromion.  If the shoulder is not moving correctly or if an injury occurs, the rotator cuff muscles can become overloaded, inflamed and swollen.  The swollen rotator cuff tendon may be squeezed or jammed as it moves back and forth becoming even more inflamed and eventually damaged.  In this way even a relatively minor shoulder problem can cause impingement problems.  Even without injury, the rotator cuff muscles and other structures that slide under the acromion can become impinged (Postural changes, repetitive use, degeneration and poor movement patterns).

The management

Your local moveforward physiotherapist will assess your upper quadrant in detail to determine the exact contributing factors for your presentation. From here they will advise you of the best path forward and prescribe you with an individualised treatment management plan in order to provide the most efficient and effective rehabilitation for you. It may include the following:

  • Massage
  • Dry needling
  • Manipulation
  • Mobilisations
  • Stretches
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Heat / Ice packs
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Pilates or 1:1 exercise rehabilitation at our Hocking Physiotherapy clinic

or Quinns Physiotherapy clinic