What helps shoulder impingement?

(46 Posts)
JustMyName Sun 29-Dec-19 21:45:34

I'm having a lot of shoulder pain and my doctor diagnosed an impingement. He told me to rest it for 6 weeks and if no better then I could see physio for an injection.

That was 3 weeks ago and it's getting worse. I have to drive sometimes to take my mum to the doctor's etc and it's very painful and I don't know what to do if it gets even worse. I'm taking paracetamol and using ibuprofen gel. I don't tolerate stronger painkillers.

Has anyone found anything that helps?

Does the injection help long term and is it very painful?

Anything else I can do.

I can't get comfy in bed, so don't sleep well.

Any suggestions welcome.

OP’s posts: |
FourStarsShine Sun 29-Dec-19 22:18:15

Following. Same problem. Have be seeing a physio for weeks to no avail. Was about to request a steroid injection, but no idea if that’s the best course of action...

BuddhaAtSea Sun 29-Dec-19 22:22:48

I had a shot of kenalog (steroids) for a severe impingement. The relief!
I then stopped doing breaststroke for a long time and just did crawl.
I’m trying to get back into medleys, so I’m doing weights at the gym to build up strength. But, touch wood, didn’t need another injection.

weaselwords Sun 29-Dec-19 22:28:20

I had the injection for a shoulder impingement and it worked like a charm.

JosephineDeBeauharnais Sun 29-Dec-19 22:31:16

I have the jab every 15-18 months and work it very hard with strengthening exercise (weights) all the time. This regime works well for me but it's not for everyone. The range of movement isn't all it could be, but the pain is under control. I've had three injections so far and am about ready for another.

bluejayblue Sun 29-Dec-19 22:35:28

The injection is magic! very fine needle so not really painful.

Coatandhat Sun 29-Dec-19 22:40:56

I've had two frozen shoulders and found for pain relief nothing beat a TENS machine. Utter bliss!


fikel Sun 29-Dec-19 22:48:22

Time and time took me 14 months to no longer have pain. I still can’t fully extend like I used to. I had physio only and just some how worked through the pain. It’s horrendous you have my sympathy

QueenOfOversharing Sun 29-Dec-19 22:58:02

I had steroid injection (my GP did it) & it really helped. The one thing I will say is that the physio I got was shit & it wasn't straight after the injection, so by time I saw them it was bad again.

Google stretches & strengthening for shoulder impingement & start doing some of those now (don't push it though). I would also encourage you to take regular ibuprofen (obvs if you can take it) as it's an anti inflammatory & that helps when you try to get better range of movement.

For sleeping, I put a pillow behind me, to make me stay on my "good" side. It didn't always work, but it might help. What helped more was a pillow in front of me, that I could rest my "bad" arm on - the arm being elevated helped me. I also wore a sling while sat watching tv - again, just to hold the weight of the arm.

Ice packs too. Alternate with hot pack.

Jumpi Sun 29-Dec-19 23:03:57

To those who’ve had an injection, how long did you wait for it?

JustMyName Sun 29-Dec-19 23:35:06

Thanks everyone. I'll Google exercises. I'll also try a pillow to rest my arm on at night, as no matter how I lie I can't get comfy.

I'll try and make an appointment for an injection as I can't bear the thought of living with this pain for months, possibly years.

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfOversharing Sun 29-Dec-19 23:38:28

I was lucky that my GP did it for me when I first saw him about it. But otherwise it really depends on referrals.

PickAChew Sun 29-Dec-19 23:39:58

Husband had to do loads of stability and strengthening exercise. not something to do without expert oversight, though.

JustMyName Sun 29-Dec-19 23:42:27

I was told to make an appointment with the surgery physio, that should take no longer than 2 weeks.

My mum's telling me to go back to the gp, but I think all he'll do is prescribe stronger painkillers. My stomach is rubbish at the best of times, I don't want to make it worse if I can avoid it.

I don't have a cold pack, bit will try to get to a chemist. At the moment I'm using a heart wheat pillow and ibuprofen gel.

OP’s posts: |
Chista Sun 29-Dec-19 23:53:10

I had a severe impingement and had the steroid injection, it didnt help but saw an amazing osteopath that really helped me out. It took time but was so much better for it

JustMyName Mon 30-Dec-19 00:05:01

I can't afford to go private. Are there nhs osteopaths?

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Mon 30-Dec-19 01:48:52

I had it bilaterally , had injections with no results and eventually had surgery on both , 16 weeks apart , that worked .

JustMyName Mon 30-Dec-19 02:23:21

Oh no! My gp didn't mention surgery ...

Glad it worked in the end though.

OP’s posts: |
MalarkeyMouse Mon 30-Dec-19 03:47:43

Painful osteopath confused

StealthPussy Mon 30-Dec-19 06:18:30

No, osteopaths are not employed by the nhs. You have to pay to see one. It’s worth it.

Chista Mon 30-Dec-19 06:22:10

Shoulder impingement surgery or subacromial decompression is one of those surgeries that have been removed from the NHS list of surgeries sadly.
I paid privately for my osteopath, the surgery was offered (when it was available on the NHS) but after some extensive reading, decided not to go ahead and opted for the osteo instead. It was initially painful but as my sessions went on, the pain decreased and now with my maintenance exercises, there is a massive improvement

muddledmidget Mon 30-Dec-19 06:27:43

I paid privately to see a sports physio. He gave me exercises, massage and manipulation and infra red treatment. I also skipped seeing the gp as I knew I would be given 6 weeks of anti-inflammatories before a referral to an NHS physio which would probably be another 6 week wait for some fairly basic treatment. In the meantime, I was in a lot of pain, couldn't drive without crying in pain and was worried about long term damage as the pins and needles and shooting pains in my fingers were getting worse. Cost 60 for the first session and 40 for each subsequent session, and I had 4 in total

TidaQuel Mon 30-Dec-19 06:39:33

Oh no, you have my sympathy- worst pain ever. I ended up with a months worth of painkillers which at least allowed me some movement back. The wait for NHS physio was 4 months. 6 months on and I’m still in a bit of pain but so much more manageable. I don’t yet have full range of movement but is slowly improving.

BuddhaAtSea Mon 30-Dec-19 06:48:10

@Chista they definitely still do subacromial decompressions on the NHS. As in I’m 1000% sure.

Chista Mon 30-Dec-19 07:14:49

BuddhaAtSea I can say 1000% that it has received an 'Intervention not normally funded' status in a number CCGs. It was deemed that the success rate was low and often created more issues. Perhaps your CCG is one of the lucky ones that has enough funding to routinely fund this surgery.
Apologies for diverting from your issue OP. I also found resistance band exercises helped, there are some great resources out there that can help, painkillers will only mask the pain and not treat the underlying cause of what created the impingement in the first place, though they will help you when doing some of the exercises.

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