Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I'm an avid golfer in my retirement years. After having some shoulder pain for months I saw my doctor. The problem I have is called subacromial impingement syndrome. I've never heard of it. Is it a rare condition?


Subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS) is actually a fairly common cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction. Symptoms occur when the shoulder is elevated, a position often used in golf and other sports activities.

Despite the many people affected by SIS the cause is still unclear. Doctors think the supraspinatus tendon of the rotator cuff gets pinched between the shoulder and the acromion when the arm is raised overhead. The acromion is part of the shoulder blade that curves around over the top of the shoulder joint.

What causes the impingement? It could be from changes in head, neck, and upper back posture. A forward head position pulls the shoulders forward in a slouched position. The shoulder blades move forward and up. Muscles get out of balance and soft tissues get pinched and irritated.

Jeremy S. Lewis, PT, PhD, et al. Subacromial Impingement Syndrome: The Effect of Changing Posture on Shoulder Range of Motion. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. February 2005. Vol. 35. No. 2. Pp. 72-87.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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