Do Shoulder Braces Work as a Treatment for Impingement Syndrome?

by / Thursday, 27 June 2019 / Published in Blog, Bracing, Stem Cell Therapy

Shoulder impingement syndrome is one of the most common shoulder complaints that doctors see every year. It can limit mobility and greatly decrease a patient’s quality of life from chronic pain. It may cause pain when you move your shoulder, shooting pains down your arm, stiffness of the shoulder, and pain during sleep. Shoulder bracing may be a useful treatment method for impingement syndrome by stabilizing the joint and allowing it to heal.


What are Shoulder Braces?


Bracing can be useful for healing acute injuries, for chronic conditions, and in the prevention of further injury. The purpose of braces and splints is to improve physical function, slow the progression of injury, and diminish the amount of pain felt during movement. They can be used to immobilize an unstable joint, immobilize fractured bones, to unload a portion of a joint and improve pain and function, to eliminate a range of motion in one direction, or to modify range of motion in one or more directions. They do not replace a good rehabilitative physical therapy program, and the entire range of treatment options should be explored and used as needed based on doctors recommendations. Generally, splints are for short-term use. Excessive or continuous use of a brace or splint can lead to more chronic pain and stiffness of a joint, or eventually to muscle weakness. However, long-term use of some braces, such as a knee unloader brace, can help prevent progression of pain attributable to osteoarthritis of the knee. Braces are able to help a joint heal but do not necessarily heal the joint completely on their own.

Your shoulder is made up of several joints combined with tendons and muscles that allow a great range of motion in your arm

What is Impingement Syndrome?


One of the most common physical complaints is shoulder pain. Your shoulder is made up of several joints combined with tendons and muscles that allow a great range of motion in your arm. Because so many different structures make up the shoulder, it is very vulnerable to several different problems. The rotator cuff is a frequent source of pain in the shoulder. Your shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone called the humerus, your shoulder blade called the scapula, and your collarbone called the clavicle. Your arm is kept in your shoulder socket by your rotator cuff and tendons. These muscles and tendons form a covering around the head of your upper arm bone and attach it to your shoulder blade. There is a lubricating sac called a bursa between the rotator cuff and the bone on top of your shoulder. The bursa allows the rotator cuff tendons to glide freely when you move your arm. This prevents the bones from rubbing against each other and damaging delicate nerves and tissue.


How Can Shoulder Bracing Help With My Impingement Syndrome?


Shoulder braces are able to hold a joint in its proper place, allow movement while healing, but limit the mobility to prevent further injury. Shoulder braces can be useful in impingement syndrome because they are able to control the damage done to your shoulder bursa by preventing tears and allowing healing to occur. It also allows the inflammation to subside by limiting your arm use. Exercises, along with bracing, have been shown to heal impingement syndrome.