Is Shoulder Impingement the Same as Frozen Shoulder?

Shoulder pain | Tyrrell Burrus | South Austin, TXAccording to orthopedic studies, shoulder pain is the third most common pain complaint from orthopedic patients, with 15-30% of patients reporting shoulder pain every month. Shoulder pain can significantly decrease quality of life by impacting mobility. Without an examination, it can be tough to know what is causing your shoulder pain or limited movement, but there is often confusion between shoulder impingement and frozen shoulder.

How Do I Know If I Have Frozen Shoulder or Shoulder Impingement?

Frozen shoulder causes a person to not be able to turn their arm out and can be quite painful even when motionless and especially at night. While there is some overlap in symptoms, shoulder impingement is caused by a swollen rotator cuff. It causes pain in a certain range of motion.  Left untreated, shoulder impingement may lead to rotator cuff tendinitis or shoulder bursitis.

How Is Shoulder Impingement Diagnosed?

To properly diagnose shoulder impingement, you should make an appointment to see Dr. Burrus in South Austin, Southwest Austin, or Bastrop Seton. Dr. Burrus will review your medical history and symptoms; he will assess your mobility and pain level. To rule out other similar diagnoses, he may order x-rays or an MRI as well as examine your neck to rule out a pinched nerve.

How Do You Treat Shoulder Impingement?

We prefer beginning treatment with nonsurgical options such as rest, NSAIDs, and physical therapy. If the pain cannot be resolved with those treatments, we may recommend a steroid injection. If surgery is required, treatment options such as arthroscopy and open shoulder surgery can help effectively treat shoulder impingement. Platelet-rich plasma therapy may also be used to help promote natural healing, alleviate pain, and enhance recovery time.

If you are experiencing symptoms of shoulder impingement, a consultation with an orthopedic specialist may be the first step towards diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Dr. Burrus is an experienced fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is dedicated to providing high-quality, specialized holistic care. Call 512.477.6341 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.