Let’s take a look at subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS).
AKA subacromial pain syndrome or rotator cuff impingement
SIS is a symptomatic irritation of the structures passing through the narrow space below the acromion of the shoulder (the hard, flat bone forming the “roof” of the shoulder). Consequently, it is a syndrome made up of many different conditions, involving the irritation of many different structures, such as bursa or tendons; and can have many different causes.
SIS is characterised by pain at the top and outside of your shoulder; which is typically worse when you lift your arm, or at night, possibly affecting your sleep; and a feeling of weakness in the arm.
If you do suffer from this, it is important to remember to keep the shoulder itself active and mobile; preferably in a way that does not aggravate the pain (“no pain, no gain” – does NOT work; but nor does ignoring it, or being afraid to use the shoulder; find the “goldilocks zone” between the two for the most efficient healing). There are several stretching and strengthening exercises that you can do to help with this; along with strategies such as ice or heat, massage or mobilisation. Steroid injections are often useful as well; though with so many potential causes underlying this series of conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to care.
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