Subacromial Impingement refers to irritation of the rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor muscles) tendons of the shoulder. Often caused by over head movements such as throwing, carrying, swimming. Just as common, it can occur gradually over time as a result of poor biomechanics of the upper back, neck and shoulder blades, which results in a rounding of the shoulders. This, in turn cause the pectoralis minor and serrates anterior muscles to weaken and shorten, resulting in impingement at the sub acromial space in the shoulder. Accurate diagnosis is crucial in the correct rehabilitation of shoulder injuries, whether it be Subacromial Impingement or any other shoulder pain. Patients experience pain at the shoulder during lifting of the arm, particularly above 90 degrees. Repetitive irritation often leads to a thickening of the tendon, most notably Supraspinatus, which greatly reduces the space under the acromium, further increasing the chance of irritation. Subacromial impingement injuries often occur in conjunction with Bursitis. A Bursa is a fluid filled sac that lies between a tendon and a bone to prevent adverse friction. If these bursa get irritated they can become inflamed and swell, further restricting the space for free movement. We have thousands of Bursa all over the body ranging in size. Some for example around the shoulder are quite large and are often in tight fitting spaces already. The slightest aggravation is all it takes for them to inflame and become very painful. Arthritis patients are commonly diagnosed with associated subacromial impingement as they tend to develop ‘osteophytes’ under the acromion bone. Known as ‘osteophytic spurring’ these pointed excess bony formations are very sharp and pinch the tendon every time you raise your arm. If severe enough, it would require surgery and thus a full examination by an osteopath would greatly help determine the right course of treatment. The Aark Osteopath Lloyd Tilney works closely with local GP’s so your healthcare is of the highest priority.


A registered Osteopath is highly qualified in treating shoulder pain and/or shoulder impingement injuries, and will work with you to rehabilitate and prevent reocurrence. Aark osteopath Lloyd Tilney has many years experience rehabilitating athletes, sports people and the public. Rest assured you will receive the best care.



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