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Do you feel a pinch in your shoulder when you lift your arms up or when you’re swimming? If so, you may be suffering from a problem known as shoulder impingement or swimmer’s shoulder.

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Shoulder impingement compromises the normal movement of your shoulder. When you lift your arm up, the tendons of your rotator cuff muscles that stabilise your shoulder get trapped as they pass through the shoulder joint in a narrow bony space called the subacromial space. Repeated pinching and irritation of these tendons and the bursa (the padding under the shoulder bone) can lead to rotator cuff injury and pain.

Common symptoms for rotator cuff impingement:

  • Pain when lifting your arm up
  • Pain that may radiate from the top of your shoulder to the lateral elbow
  • Pain when lying on the sore shoulder
  • Pain or weakness when attempting to reach or lift
  • Pain when putting your hand to a back pocket or scratching the back of your head
  • Pain reaching for the seat-belt, or out of the car window for a parking ticket
  • Shoulder pain at rest as your condition deteriorates