Avatar universal

Impingement Syndrome?

I've had chronic neck pain for many years, most likely a byproduct of my job, which requires many hours of sitting in front of a computer. A few months ago, I began experiencing more intense and constant pain on the right side of my neck that made it next to impossible to bend my head to the left more than a few inches. Then came the pain in my right upper arm that felt just like a bad muscle strain but refused to go away. The pain was worse when I would put my arm behind my back.

I went to my chiropractor (who also does acupressure) about the neck issue and mentioned the problem with my arm. This led him to believe that I might have an Impingement.  He worked on my neck and shoulders, using heat and ultrasound, but the benefit was very short-lived. The pain in my arm continued to worsen. And then something new started happening, an intense tingling, creepy-crawly feeling in the trapezius muscles above the right scapula. I returned to my chiropractor, who is still concerned that I have an impingement. He worked on me some more, commenting that the muscles of the area that was being affected by the tingling were extremely tight, in his words, hard as a rock. He recommended that I go to a massage therapist. I have an appointment with one next week.

After coming home, I did some online research for Impingement Syndrome and tested to see if the pain in my arm matched the symptoms of that disorder. Sure enough, when I hold my arm straight out to the side, the pain worsens, spreading up into my shoulder if I keep it there for more than a few seconds. Holding it straight out in front of me also hurts, though not as much. Also, according to what I read, the pain when I put my arm behind me is a reliable sign of Impingement Syndrome. However, I read nothing about neck pain and tingling being symptoms.

I have no medical insurance, so I'm hesitant to get a lot of tests done for something that may not even be the problem. Does this sound like Impingement Syndrome or could the extremely tight muscles be causing my problems? I'm desperately hoping that the massage therapy will help.  It's reached the point where it is extremely uncomfortable for me to sit at the computer for any length of time.

I should probably mention that I tore some of the muscles over my right scapula a few years ago and have had occasional problems with pain in that area since then.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal

It looks like the nerves are getting impinged. You should consult a neurologist. You could be wasting precious time in trying out different treatments without finding out the cause.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Impingement syndrome is a common condition affecting the shoulder.This condition is closely related to shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis.
The typical symptoms of impingement syndrome include difficulty reaching up behind the back, pain with overhead use of the arm and weakness of shoulder muscles.

Probably, it seems you may be having this condition but jumping down to this conclusion without a clinical examination would be premature.

It may also be due to some nerve entrapment syndrome though least likely.
Hence do consult your orthopedic surgeon as early as possible to rule out any shoulder problems.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Orthopedics Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Tips and moves to ease backaches
How to bounce back fast from an ankle sprain - and stay pain free.
Patellofemoral pain and what to do about it.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.