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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is shoulder impingement syndrome?

Shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) happens when the tendons or bursa become trapped between bones of your shoulder joint. You have pain when you reach over your head or lie on the shoulder while sleeping. You may also have pain when you move your arm out to the side or behind your body.

Shoulder Anatomy

What can cause SIS?

How is SIS diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. He or she will ask about your work and hobbies. Your healthcare provider will have you move your arm and shoulder in different directions. He or she will do tests to check the strength and movement of your shoulder. You may need an x-ray to check for bone spurs or arthritis.

What is the treatment for SIS?

It is important that SIS is treated to avoid complications including rotator cuff tears. Treatments include the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.