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Shoulder Impingement

The most common shoulder problem is shoulder impingement. The rotator cuff muscles are a group of muscles that pass through the sub-acromial space in the shoulder joint and assist with shoulder stability and shoulder movements. If this sub-acromial space becomes smaller or the rotator cuff tendons become inflamed or swollen then they will become impinged by certain shoulder movements.


What is shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement is what happens with the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles get trapped in the shoulder joint as they pass through causing weakness, pain and loss of shoulder function. Most patients with the condition will heal well following appropriate physiotherapy and early physiotherapy is recommended to speed up recovery the recovery for shoulder impingement.


What causes shoulder impingement?

The space where the rotator cuff tendons pass is very small and therefore anything that may narrow this space can cause shoulder impingement including trauma such as a fall or accident, or overuse leading to irritation of the structures in the shoulder joint.

In sports, shoulder impingement is common in those activities that require throwing such as cricket and baseball or overhead movements such as swimming, racquet sports and paddling sports.


What are the symptoms of shoulder impingement?

People with shoulder impingement normally feel pain at the front, back, top or outer side of the shoulder. Pain can radiate into the arm as far as the elbow and symptoms generally worsen during activities that make the shoulder space smaller and include activities involving lifting your hands above your head.


How is shoulder impingement diagnosed?

A physiotherapist here at Farrell Physiotherapy can provide a full shoulder assessment and can perform specific tests to determine if you have shoulder impingement. Ultrasound scans can also be done to see if there are any other associated conditions such as subacromial bursitis or rotator cuff tendonitis. Other scans such as an X-ray, CT or MRI scan can determine if any other conditions are also present.

    What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for shoulder impingement?

    Each person’s treatment is different and following an accurate assessment by your physiotherapist an individual treatment plan is created.

    Treatment can include:

    • Soft tissue massage
    • Stretching exercises
    • Electrotherapy
    • Joint manipulation
    • Ice or heat therapy
    • Range of movement exercises
    • Strengthening exercises
    • Postural advice, education and re-training
    • Activity modification advice
    • Taping
    • Anti-inflammatory advice
    • Corticosteroid advice
    • Graded return to activity/sports programme

    In some cases where there is significant rotator cuff pathology and bony spurring, surgery may be required to improve the condition.


    Benefit of physiotherapy for shoulder impingement?

    Early treatment can prevent the problem worsening and allow you to get back to your best as quickly as possible. The benefits you receive from physiotherapy will be dependent on your symptoms and goals.

    Physiotherapy aims to ultimately alleviate your symptoms and:

    • Reduce pain
    • Increase range of movement
    • Increase shoulder strength
    • Improve posture
    • Provide a safe return to activities
    • Prevent impingement occurring again

      Don't let pain win...

      Our Expert Physiotherapists in Witham and Chelmsford specialise in providing the latest treatments and techniques in order to get you pain free as soon as possible, cure the cause of your pain and help you to return to pre-injury levels of activity.

      Furthermore, we'll also give you a bespoke exercise and rehabilitation program, and advise you on how to prevent re-injury and remain pain free.

      Get in touch with us now on 01245 830280 or 07980 898212 or alternatively send us a message.


      At Farrell Physiotherapy we work with some of the uk's top insurance companies to ensure you're covered.

      We can accept payment from AXA (PPP), Bupa, PruHealth, simplyhealth and Standard Life, if you have any questions about alternative payment methods, please get in touch with us using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you asap!


      I recently injured my Achilles Tendon and I was able to get immediate treatment from a very enthusiastic physiotherapist at ‘Farrell Physiotherapy’.  I then had further regular treatment from Ben and continued with the follow-up exercises he gave me to do at home.  I found Ben’s enthusiasm contagious and with the treatment and advice he gave me I have been able to get back to regular activity.  I have been able to play 18 holes of competitive golf 4 days consecutively with there being no issues.


      I was referred to Ben after a road traffic accident for pain in my neck. The service I received was excellent. He not only treated my neck pain but also helped me to correct my bad posture which was not aiding my recovery.
      Ben is extremely friendly and gives a very professional service and I can’t thank him enough for resolving the problem. I would highly recommend him.

      - Carol Joyce


      I am an animal physiotherapist myself and can not recommend Ben more highly. He is the human physio I have been searching so long for!! There are very safe COVID procedures, and a great friendly and efficient environment. Ben makes you feel welcome, explains things perfectly and always ensures you're comfortable.

      Most importantly Ben has enormously helped me with my knees. After having radiographs, an MRI, seeing a NHS and another private physio - none of them could help in that way that Ben did in 6 sessions and continues to do so. I have a long way to go but I have never had any faith that my goals are achievable but with Ben I now do - thank you!!

      - Lauren Hunt


      I have recently completed a course of treatment with Ben Farrell and am pleased to highly recommend him to others. I went to see Ben when I was suffering with extreme pain due to a trapped nerve in my neck which caused pain to radiate into my shoulder, arm and hand. I got an appointment very quickly and Ben was able to diagnose the problem and work on alleviating the pain. Part of the treatment has involved improving my longstanding poor posture which I’ve had since a child and believed was something that could not be changed. Ben has also advised me on how to continue to work on this to avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.

      - Judith Woosnam


      I visited the practice on personal recommendation following a doctor’s diagnosis of an as then unspecified “shoulder injury”. I had seen my GP as the increasing pain in my arm and shoulder was not only preventing me from lifting my arm above 90%, but was also increasingly stopping me from sleeping at night.

      After an initial diagnosis session where Ben Farrell had quickly identified the actual problem, I then undertook a course of hands on physiotherapy and an increasing program of exercise. In view of the complexity of the problem (which I was advised had been going on for far longer than I has know), the physiotherapy program was, therefore, pretty comprehensive, however, always with excellent support and guidance from Ben along the way.

      I am very pleased with the results and I am now both playing much better golf and getting a full night’s sleep. And, I have no problems lifting my arm its full range!!!! So, the next thing on the agenda will be the golf game at Benton Hall.

      - Stephen


      Before visiting Ben I had been suffering from pain in my achillies tendons, which had stopped me from running my first half marathon. I had previously visited other physios local to me but had made no improvement. On my first visit ,Ben immediately diagnosed that my problem was coming from an old lower back injury. I was impressed that he was determined to treat the root cause of the injury (back) and provide a long term cure, and not just focus on a short term treatment of my achilles. Ben’s friendly but straight talking manner made my visits very enjoyable. I was so impressed that I took my 14 year old son to see Ben when he had an injury prior to a very important football trial. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Ben to anyone .

      - Mike Smith


      Couldn’t have asked for a better service than I got in just 4 weeks I spent with Mr Farrell.

      My first appointment with Mr Farrell was 4 weeks prior to running the London marathon and I was in no fit state to be able to run it due to a knee injury. Mr Farrell gave me a number of exercises to completely daily and a handful of one on one sessions as well. He also advised me on picking a better pair of running shoes to support my foot shape and create less pain in my knee.

      A combination of the hard work put in by Mr Farrell and myself I managed to complete the marathon in just over 4 hours. A great achieve considering I couldn’t run for 4 months prior to the race due to my knee. My only regret was not going to see Mr Farrell earlier! Then I may have be able to probably train for it. Would highly recommend Mr Farrell to anyone, a very professional service and great results.

      - Fraser Murray


      One of the main things I learnt when you treated me was your ability to dispel some of the old chestnuts about joint pain. Through your physiotherapy and advice I now walk more and cycle a lot. I do not rest up when I have a flair up, I do the maximum exercise I can without causing to great a discomfort to my joints. I avoid Painkillers if at all possible.

      I can honestly say that you have helped me to take a new outlook on life. Thank you.

      Ben Farrell was very thorough and professional when I went to him for treatment on my tennis elbow. He treated my posture as well as the elbow. The exercises he taught me both enabled the pain to go away and stay away, thus doing himself out of work! He and all his staff were very pleasant and friendly and I would recommend him unreservedly.

      - Shane Murphy


      Ben is an excellent physiotherapist who provided a considered care plan that enabled me to achieve my goals. Ben in his unique professional and personable manner demonstrated judgement and considerable experience to assist my recovery

      After suffering persistent shoulder pain for several months I went to Farrell Physiotherapy on the recommendation of my husband.

      After only a short course of treatment and undertaking daily exercises I am now pain free.

      I would gladly recommend Farrell Physiotherapy to any person requiring physiotherapy treatment.

      - C Wiltshire


      I received excellent treatment for a foot and knee complaint that I thought would need an operation. It was very debilitating. However, after my course of physiotherapy sessions and continuation of exercises to do at home, I am now pain free and back to my normal exercise routine at the gym.

      - C Dobinson


      I was really happy with my treatment and how the therapist was able to help me really nice guy and very professional.

      - J. Turner


      I recently attended 6 sessions of Physiotherapy with Bradley at Witham. 
      I have to say I thought the service was fantastic. Booking appointments was very easy. 
      Bradley was incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. He was incredibly professional and I have to say I am no longer in any discomfort. Many thanks. I would recommend him to anyone. 

      - M. Dick

      Where we are

      We have two clinic locations within the Essex area. Physiotherapy in Witham and Physiotherapy in Chelmsford, please use the map below to view contact details for the clinic that you would prefer to visit. 

      Opening Hours

      Monday to Friday
      6am to 9pm 
      9am to 12pm
      Same day & Emergency appointments available most times.


      Unit 3b, The Old Coal Yard,
      Little Waltham Road,
      Broomfield, Chelmsford
      CM1 7TG


      Witham Leisure Centre,
      CM8 1EP

      Get In Touch

      If you have any questions prior to booking just send us a message using the form and we'll be in touch asap.

      If you would prefer to talk to us on the phone we can be reached on 01245 830280 or 07980 898212 during business hours.

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