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Shoulder Impingement is a syndrome that occurs when there is compression and/or abrasion of the rotator cuff and/or bursa. It can be caused by trauma, weakness, repetitive use, or poor mechanics.


  • Pain at the anterior and superior shoulder
  • Pain when laying on the shoulder
  • Pain when raising the arm overhead
  • Occasional clicking or popping


Pectoralis Corner Stretch

Stand with your arms at shoulder height facing an inside corner. Place your elbows, forearms, and palms on the wall, stagger your feet and gently lean forward into the wall. Allow the wall to pull your arms behind your shoulders; promoting a stretch through the pectoralis and front part of the shoulder.

Standing Rows

Using a medium to heavy resistance band actively roll your shoulders down your back, away from your neck and face. This is key for this exercise to ensure proper engagement of the postural muscles and avoid further injury.

Sidelying External Rotation

Lay on your unaffected side with a towel rolled up under your affected elbow. Keep your elbow bent to a 90 degree angle but resting on the towel. Slowly rotate your shoulder so your wrist and forearm travel to point towards the ceiling. Add a light dumbbell as tolerated.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical therapy can help alleviate your symptoms with the use of modalities to calm the
inflammation and exercises to improve posture and strengthen the rotator cuff. Your therapist will complete a thorough evaluation to determine the primary source of your injury and lead you through the best rehabilitation plan for you to return to normal!


The ultimate goal is to help you understand the best strategies to manage your symptoms and get you back to your desired activities!


Author: Andrew Buelow, DPT 

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