Shoulder Impingement

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One of the most common sources of shoulder pain occurs as a result of shoulder impingement. Also referred to as Swimmer’s Shoulder, Tennis Shoulder, and rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder impingement is not only painful, but can also interfere with range-of-motion and daily activities. At OrthoAspen, our orthopedic experts are dedicated to finding solutions to help relieve pain, discomfort and get you back to your active Aspen lifestyle.

Causes & Symptoms

Shoulder impingement is a condition that results from pressure on the rotator cuff from the shoulder blade (scapula) as the arm is lifted. The pain patients experience occurs when the bursa overlying the rotator cuff is inflamed (bursitis) or is affected by tendonitis.

It’s more likely for active, young and middle-aged individuals to experience shoulder impingement. Athletes who participate in swimming, baseball and tennis are particularly susceptible to this condition due to the repeat, overhead motion of their arms. Certain occupations that involve overhead activities—construction, lifting, painting—can also lead to shoulder impingement.

Symptoms of shoulder impingement can include:

  • Pain during activity (ranging from moderate to severe)
  • Discomfort and/or pain even when arm and shoulder are at rest
  • Difficulty with range of motion, particularly when the hand is raised overhead
  • Weakness of the arm
  • Tenderness in the shoulder and arm

To help determine if shoulder impingement is present, our OrthoAspen orthopedic experts will perform a full physical examination and go over past and present medical information. Your doctor will also likely order an X-ray and MRI to assess the presence and degree of inflammation in the rotator cuff.


Since OrthoAspen is committed to getting you back to your active lifestyle, we’ll do everything possible to find a safe, effective and conservative treatment solution.

If shoulder impingement has been identified, potential treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Ice packs
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery (in few cases)

If you have concerns regarding shoulder pain or suspect you may be experiencing shoulder impingement, we encourage you to reach out to our OrthoAspen specialists. Our goal is to help patients get back to a healthy, active lifestyles as quickly and safely as possible.

Contact us any time at 970-544-1289 to get started!


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400