Shoulder Impingement Treatment for Older Patients

Shoulder pains and problems are common in the general public. In older people, shoulder disabilities are way more prevalent, especially those in their 50’s or 60’s. Getting the right shoulder impingement treatment is vital. 

Shoulder pains are often underestimated because often, older people start to experience a multitude of symptoms for different other health concerns.

Even though certain risk factors for shoulder impingement are assumed, the adverse effects of shoulder issues among older adults’s quality of life and functional level are often poorly described.

Identifying Shoulder Impingement in Older Patients

While older experience pain and other health issues more often than the younger population, these health risks are under-treated. Older people assume that whatever pain or discomfort that may be feeling is just typical signs of aging. This is why they don’t often get proper shoulder impingement treatment procedures until their health has worsened.

While shoulder impingement occurs at any age, it’s more widespread among the elderly. The rotator cuff gradually degenerates as we grow older, causing it to get swollen and inflamed. Also, rotator cuff tears in older people may be the result of a fall, accident, or arthritis.

For younger patients, the diagnosis for shoulder pain usually entails shoulder instability or any traumatic condition, as opposed to degeneration.

Frozen Shoulder and Shoulder Impingement: Are They Similar?

There’s a variety of reasons why one may feel pain when lifting or rotating their arm. One of the most common is shoulder impingement, also known as rotator cuff tendonitis.

This condition occurs when there’s repetitive and chronic compression around the rotator cuff tendons, causing shoulder movement problems and pain. The pain is usually isolated in outer and upper shoulder areas that may extend all the way down the elbow.

Physical therapy techniques such as soft-tissue massage, manual techniques, gentle joint stretches, and shoulder exercises are some shoulder impingement treatment that older and younger patients can do. These techniques are also called range-of-motion exercises.

Shoulder impingement treatment and management are not a one-size-fits-all.

On the other hand, a frozen shoulder can display similar symptoms as shoulder impingement – especially during the early stages. These two conditions are not the same at all.

That’s why an accurate diagnosis is a necessity when you feel any pain or discomfort in your shoulder area. Shoulder impingement treatment involves physical therapy while frozen shoulder does not.

Shoulder Treatment Impingement for the Elderly

Shoulder impingement treatment and management are not a one-size-fits-all. Healthcare professionals will consider the patient’s health status, age, level of function, and activity level. An active older patient may require and withstand surgery than someone who is the same age but in poor health.

Chronicling Shoulder Pain

In the shoulder impingement treatment for older patients, determining the history of the pain is vital in creating a treatment plan. First and foremost, the patient’s age is a significant influence. This also helps specialists to ask the right questions during the diagnosis. Aside from age, an older patient’s sports, hobbies, and other physical activities must be assessed.

Further exploration of shoulder pain also involves the sites of it. Older patients will be asked about the duration of the pain, severity, and location of it, along with other associated symptoms. If there was an event that may have caused the pain such as a fall or accident, share as much detail as possible with your doctor.

Another symptom worth noting is night pain. As the name implies, the shoulder pain is often exacerbated at nighttime; the pain also affects sleep. This is a good indicator of how the older patient will respond to treatment.

While shoulder impingement is mostly focused on the shoulders, the older patient’s neck or shoulder must also be thoroughly checked. Often, neck pain can radiate all the way down the elbow, which is often thought to be pain coming from the shoulder.

If there are any chronic symptoms, make sure to note any of it and let your doctor know. Try your best to remember when they first became evident and any changes to the pain levels.

Accurate Diagnosis

Thoroughness and accuracy are essential in coming up with an effective shoulder impingement treatment plan for the elderly.

Before determining the right treatment plan, precise diagnosis must take place. Healthcare specialists will focus on historical symptoms through a comprehensive physical examination. This helps reduce other possibilities and zero in on the actual problem.

Thoroughness and accuracy are essential in coming up with an effective shoulder impingement treatment plan for the elderly.

Author Profile

Dr. Wade J. Riley, DDS
I have been a family dentist in Phoenix, Arizona for over two decades. Arizona is my home, and I would never want to leave here for the world. I'm happily married to the dazzling Karen with two bustling boys.

I love the Bee Gees, so I just had to pick up this domain! On this blog, I will be offering the best of my wisdom to you about dentistry and the benefits of quality family dental care.