2005 Volume 8 Issue 1 Pages 1-7
A painful shoulder presents challenges in examination, diagnosis and intervention for the physical therapist because of the complexity of the structures involved. A common cause of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement syndrome. This was first described as a condition in which the soft tissues of the subacromial space were chronically entrapped and compressed between the humeral head and the subacromial arch. This definition does not account for the myriad potential causes of shoulder impingement conditions, as forms of impingement other than subacromial soft tissue compression may explain different symptomatic shoulder injuries. This paper describes shoulder impingement syndromes that have been hypothesized, identified and analyzed in the literature. Physical Therapy examination and intervention for these syndromes are also discussed.