Internal Impingement

Also known as: internal impingement of the shoulder, posterior superior glenoid impingement.

What is internal impingement?

Internal impingement is a shoulder injury in which the rotator cuff catches or rubs against other structures within the shoulder. It is an injury that is frequently seen in athletes such as swimmers or baseball pitchers.

What causes internal impingement?

Repetitive motion such as throwing a ball or swimming strokes is the most common cause of internal impingement, though it can also occur due to a singular injury or accident in some cases.

What are the symptoms of internal impingement?

Pain when moving the shoulder in certain ways, weakness, reduced range of motion and shoulder instability are all potential symptoms of internal impingement.

How can internal impingement affect children?

Internal impingement is less likely to occur in children than adults, but it can still happen, particularly in adolescent athletes who overwork their shoulders.

What are internal impingement treatments?

Mild to moderate internal impingement may be treated with physical therapy, over-the-counter pain relievers, rest and exercises to strengthen the shoulder. More severe cases of internal impingement may require surgery followed by rehabilitation.


Reviewed by: Craig Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: April 09, 2021 03:40 PM

Pediatric Sports Medicine Program

The Sports Health Program at Nicklaus Children's is one of the premier sports health programs in the nation, combining state-of-the-art diagnostics and screening with a multidisciplinary team of pediatric sports medicine specialists for athletes.

Learn more

Learn more about

Rotator Cuff Injury

The collection of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint and hold the joint in position are known as the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff injuries can take a variety of forms, including tears, tendinitis from overuse, impingement and more. Learn more

NSAIDs

Short for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, refers to a class of medications that reduce inflammation, pain and fever. Learn more

Physical Sports Therapy

Physical sports therapy is a branch of physical therapy that is focused on preventing injuries that commonly occur during sports competition, as well as specifically treating the injuries athletes develop in the course of their training and competition. Learn more