Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2023 May;34(2):311-334. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2022.12.001. Epub 2023 Feb 26.


Shoulder impingement is the most common diagnosis for shoulder pain. Shoulder impingement syndrome has been scrutinized as a misleading "umbrella" term, due to its vague and nonspecific context. It is better subcategorized into subacromial, internal, and subcoracoid impingement. The evaluation and treatment algorithm for each is grossly similar. A thorough history, focused physical examination, and standard radiographs are the first steps. Advanced imaging with MRI or ultrasound may be useful. The mainstay of treatment includes physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections. Surgical treatment is reserved for refractory cases, and includes decompression, debridement, and/or repair of injured structures.

Keywords: Acromion; Bursitis; Impingement; Rotator cuff; Shoulder; Subacromial; Subcoracoid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiography
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome* / therapy
  • Shoulder Pain / surgery