Shoulder Impingement Treatments

Non-surgical Shoulder Impingement Treatments

Initial shoulder impingement treatments do not involve surgery. Many people with shoulder impingement can experience relief and prevent further damage with simple lifestyle changes, including:

  • Avoiding activity:  The first step towards relief is taking a break from sports, exercise and other physically demanding activities while allowing the shoulder to rest.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen, naproxen, piroxicam, celecoxib, and others, may temporarily relieve pain and control inflammation. NSAIDS should be used cautiously and are not meant as a long-term solution. Dr. Madsen will explain the usage and side effects with you if prescribed.
  • Physical therapy: Shoulder impingement may require exercises to increase shoulder strength. A physical therapist will teach you how to properly and safely stretch your shoulder muscles.
  • Injections: Injection of a corticosteroid along with a local anesthetic may also be helpful in relieving inflammation in shoulder impingement. This is a simple and effective treatment that can be done in the doctor’s office. The injection may provide temporary or permanent relief. If pain and inflammation return, another injection or two, given a few months apart, may be needed. It is important to limit the number of injections, as prolonged corticosteroid injections may damage the surrounding tissues.

Surgical Shoulder Impingement Treatments

Oftentimes, nonsurgical treatments are sufficient for shoulder impingement treatment. If the impingement is severe or conservative avenues have not provided relief, Dr. Madsen may suggest a minimally invasive shoulder surgery using arthroscopic instruments.