Sub Acromial Impingement Syndrome

Brighton Beach Physio - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sub Acromial Impingement Syndrome

Sub acromial impingement syndrome (SAIS) is a common shoulder disorder and can occur in anyone from the elite level swimmer or tennis player right through to someone who is a little over zealous with their spring cleaning. Pain is caused by a reduction in the available amount of space between the humeral head (top of the arm bone) and acromion (top of the shoulder blade).

Many pathologies can be classed under the banner of SAIS including but not limited to:

  • Sub acromial bursitis
  • Partial rotator cuff tearing
  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy (tendonitis)

Many factors can contribute to the development of SAIS:

  • Poor posture
  • Poor control/strength of the muscles around your shoulder blade
  • Poor control/strength of the rotator cuff muscles (muscles deep within the shoulder)
  • Muscular imbalances around the shoulder
  • Changes in bone structure of the acromion

Symptoms of SAIS can vary between patients but will usually comprise of

  • Pain at the front or side of the shoulder which can radiate into the upper arm
  • Pain with lifting the arm above shoulder height – brushing your hair, reaching high cupboards
  • Pain with sleeping/lying on the affected shoulder

 Conservative management (Physiotherapy) should be the first option for the treatment of SAIS. Your physiotherapist will be able to improve shoulder mechanics with manual therapy including massage and joint mobilisations. They will also give you strategies to help improve your posture and home exercises to address muscular imbalances around the shoulder.

The vast majority people with SAIS will recover with physiotherapy intervention but for those who are resistant to treatment your physiotherapist will also be able to advise you of other medical options to further assist you with your concern.

If you feel you may have SAIS or another form of shoulder pain call us on (08) 9304 4100 to make an appointment with one of our highly qualified Physiotherapists who will be able to assess and advise you of the best course of action for your individual needs.