The Impingement Syndrome

by THOMAS on Apr 28, 2012 • 7:56 pm

Have you ever experienced pain in the shoulder, arm, leg, hip or buttock, numbness, tingling, or weakness? If you answered yes to any one of the above symptoms, then you may be experiencing the result of an impingement. As nerves exit the spinal cord, they must pass numerous obstacles in their route to various muscle groups and organ systems. Just imagine for a moment that you are on a journey from your spinal cord and you are following the route of a nerve. You will pass by numerous obstacles including bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscles tendons, vessels, bundles of muscles fibers, and organs. Nerve tissue is designed to move freely amongst all of these obstacles in order to allow free communication in the form of signals from the brain. The consistency of these tissues can often change with age. This is certainly true for muscle tissue, ligaments, and cartilage, and can be form a variety of histories such as motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, highly repetitive physical activities, and postural changes. The result can often be hardened, less flexible, fibrotic tissue the limits range of motion and flexibility. It is not only physical obstructions that can influence nerve signal transmissions but also chemical in the form of inflammation and it’s associated chemical substances that often result from tissue or joint injury, and infection.


Treatment for an impingement problem should center on conservative measures that are aimed at restoration of soft tissue function. Massage therapy, active stretching techniques, aerobic physical activity, yoga, and spinal and extremity manipulation, have all shown to be valuable in resolving an impingement problem. Combinations of these therapies have been shown to be the most successful in the long run. But it is important to keep in mind that we are dealing with nerve tissue, which is unique in its own right. When we damage or irritate nerve tissue, it can have dramatic and long lasting results. So it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible because the longer the problem of impingement remains, the longer it will take to resolve.