What Causes Shoulder Impingement and How Do I Fix It?

Have you ever felt shoulder pain when reaching up for something in the cupboard? Or perhaps when putting on a shirt? Or maybe when doing pressing movements in the gym?

What is shoulder impingement?

It is very possible you may be suffering from something called shoulder impingement.

Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendon of one of your rotator cuff muscles rubs or is squished under a hook shaped prominence on your scapula called the Acromion. When this friction or compression occurs, the tendon becomes inflamed and thickens, leading to more friction and compression and you can see where I’m going here. To make matters worse, there is also a fluid filled sack called a bursa in that same tiny space that can become inflamed as well.

What causes shoulder impingement?

The main causes of shoulder impingement are over-use and poor posture/biomechanics. Athletes at risk of this injury are swimmers, baseball players and tennis players (due to the high involvement of the shoulder joint in these sports)

Common activities that can cause shoulder impingement are painting, lifting boxes overhead and cleaning anything above eye level.

After listing some of these activities, you are probably thinking that shoulder impingement might seem inevitable. We use our shoulders and reach for things overhead so much in our daily lives.

What factors can increase or decrease our risk for this injury.

Now we’ve explained how the tendon of the rotator cuff can become impinged under the Acromion. If we can increase the space under the acromion so that those tendons do not rub, we can decrease our chance of shoulder impingement.

When we lift our arms over our heads, both the scapula and the humerus are moving at different times and at different ratios. This is called Scapulo-humeral rhythym. Now I won’t go into those exact numbers too much but essentially for proper scapulo-humeral rhythym, the scapula needs to be stabilized effectively as well as rotated posteriorly (backwards) and the humerus needs to be unrestricted (moving smoothly) when going overhead.

What muscles are affected with shoulder impingement?

If you’re suffering from shoulder impingement these are the muscles that likely need work and stretching or strengthening these muscles may assist you in your recovery.

Muscles that stabilize the scapula when lifting the arms over head:

(We want to strengthen these)

  • Serratus Anterior
  • Lower & Middle Trapezius

Muscles that restrict the humerus travelling overhead:

(We want to stretch these)

  • Pec Major
  • Latissimus dorsi

Muscles that restrict the scapula rotating posteriorly:

(We want to release this one)

  • Pec minor

What to do if you are suffering from shoulder impingement?

Rest:

stop any movements that cause pain. As we learned before, this injury is a positive feedback loop that can easily lead to a vicious cycle of inflammation and pain. Anything that can help decrease inflammation at this point is a good start. Ice, compression, cutting out inflammatory foods like refined sugars, dairy or gluten or incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet like ginger, fish oils and turmeric.

Mobilize:

Release those above-mentioned muscles (Lats, Pecs) by stretching, foam rolling getting in there with a lacrosse ball or by seeing one of our registered massage therapists.

Strengthen:

We want to build a solid foundation in our scapulo-thoracic joint by strengthening our middle and lower traps as well as the boxers muscle the serratus anterior. If you think you may benefit from building strength in these muscles, book in with a physiotherapist or active rehab specialist to learn how to properly activate and strengthen these muscles.

Prevention:

When you do become pain free, continue with your strengthening and mobilization routines to prevent further injuries in the future. Not only can you prevent injuries but by creating a strong shoulder and scapulo-thoracic joint, you can improve performance in sport and in the gym.

About Revamp Wellness

Revamp is for everyone, whether you’re in your golden years or gunning for gold medals. It’s a place for you to recover, heal, and feel like you’re in the best shape of your life.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy

Jacalyn Lynch

Co-Founder & Registered Massage Therapist

Before studying massage therapy, she was a competitive gymnast for over ten years and continued with the sport as a coach. She also competed and coached in track and field (pole vault, hurdles, sprints).

Because of her experience in sports, Jacalyn believes stretching, strengthening, and self-care go hand in hand with an effective massage treatment. She is impassioned with how the body works as a whole and makes sure to incorporate all appropriate aspects to ensure the patient’s goals are met.

Fun Fact! Do you know the difference between tendons and ligaments? Ligaments connect bones to other bones, tendons attach muscle to bones, and muscles to other parts of your body such as your eyeballs.

Education
  • Northern Michigan University

Jake Baker

Co-Founder

Jakes passion for health care stemmed from his career in hockey and his life long interest in sports. After playing years of competitive and professional hockey Jake was able to see the importance and value of body maintenance and enhancement.

After seeing and dealing with many injuries over the years he was able to experience many different types of treatment. What fascinated Jake the most was how much therapy has evolved over the years. His vision for Revamp Wellness is to always be at the fore front of the leading therapies for patients.

Experience
  • 10 Years in customer service
  • Administration

Kristy Cowie

Front Desk Receptionist

Kristy has always enjoyed helping people any way she can. She has 10 years experience in customer service and has worked as a medical receptionist for 3 years. Her goal for you is to make sure you always feel heard and taken care of. Kristy will help you with all of your front end needs, from direct billing to booking and everything in between. She is very familiar with our system and goes above and beyond for each and every patient.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy

Stephanie Gillespie

Registered Massage Therapist

Stephanie is a graduate from West Coast College of Massage Therapy, out of New Westminster. In her two years there, she volunteered at many different outreaches to provide therapeutic massage therapy for people with many different conditions: depression, anxiety, musculoskeletal injuries, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Pregnancy, just to name a few.

Before starting her career path to become an RMT, she gained a number of experiences working in the Health and Wellness field as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She still loves to teach indoor cycling classes and even enjoys her own personal workouts on the bike whenever possible. However; what she enjoyed most was leading an ‘Active Age’ class to help rehabilitate those who had suffered from strokes or heart attacks to get them back into healthy mobility. Being able to help people of all ages become more aware of their body, strength and overall wellness was what originally kicked off her idea to become an RMT and she hopes to keep up both careers equally.

Fun Fact! Some muscles you control, like your bicep when you’re lifting something heavy. Other muscles, such as those that help you breathe, move without you thinking at all.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy

Tawnya Smith

Registered Massage Therapist

Tawnya graduated in 2014 from the 3000 hour program at WCCMT in Victoria. During her education, she volunteered for Team Canada Rugby, Team Canada Swimming, Team Canada Rowing, Olympic Figure Skaters, as well as world level triathletes. Tawnya’s experience as a high-level athlete competing in gymnastics for ten years, and now competing in Crossfit, have made her keen to continually learn and understand the human body. She uses her education and experience to help athletes and clients perform to the best of their ability.

As an RMT, she focuses on modalities such as Swedish Massage, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Active Release Therapy, Deep Tissue, and Joint Mobilization.

Fun Fact! As you age, you start to lose muscle mass. But if you exercise your muscles with strength training and resistance exercises, you can slow down that process and maintain a mighty muscular system for a long time.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy

Melanie Snow

Registered Massage Therapist

Melanie attended the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy and graduated from a 3000 hour program in 2014. Her interest in the body and health began while studying Anatomy & Physiology at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2010. At UFV, she has completed three years of coursework and is currently working towards her Kinesiology degree. In addition to her 5 years of massage experience, she has focused her continuing education in Soft Tissue Release, Manual Lymph Drainage, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization and Functional Release. She was certified as a yoga teacher with the yoga alliance in 2017, and enjoys offering a holistic approach by incorporating therapeutic yoga, stretches and breathing exercises into her treatment plan. In 2018, Melanie became apart of the faculty at WCCMT and taught massage to students providing therapy at a men’s drug and addiction center. Melanie is passionate about helping athletes reach their peak performance, whether in preparation, maintenance, or recovery of their sport. In her practice, she has experience with professional athletes and has worked for sports events such as Iron Man Canada, HSBC Rugby Sevens, and was a core member with the BC Lions massage therapy team for 3 seasons. In her leisure time Melanie keeps an active lifestyle including yoga, hiking, strengthening and in 2018 ran her first full distance marathon and is always in pursuit of a new athletic goal.

Fun Fact! Muscle movement counts for almost 85 percent of the total heat produced inside the body. When you’re cold, your muscles contract involuntarily. When you shiver, those are muscles trying to warm your body.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • Vancouver College of Massage Therapy

Kristina Tangaro

Registered Massage Therapist

Kristina moved from Kamloops, BC in 2018 to attend school at the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy (VCMT) in Vancouver, and graduated in August of 2020.

Her passion for massage therapy stems from her personal desire to have an impact on helping patients achieve their goals and further expand their understanding of their body’s kinesiology. Throughout school she has had the opportunity to be apart of many clinic outreaches – working with athletes, the elderly, and individuals with both systemic and central nervous system pathologies. This along with her many clinic internships has allowed her to broaden her hands-on skills which has further allowed her to continue to learn and work towards helping her patient’s achieve their goals.

Prior to attending school, Kristina worked as a Certified Dental Assistant for 10 years in a variety of different clinical settings. After graduation she is looking forward to moving to Langley, starting her career at Revamp Wellness as an RMT and getting a dog!

Fun Fact! Muscles usually work in pairs When one shortens, its corresponding muscle lengthens. Think about doing bicep curls. When you curl your arm up so the bicep is shorter, the tricep on the other side of your arm is straightened out.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • West Coast College of Massage Therapy

Brianna Tham

Registered Massage Therapist

Brianna is a graduate from the Massage Therapy program from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in New Westminster in 2017. Brianna has worked with the BMO Marathon, the Vancouver White Caps FC2 team, Canadian Men’s National rugby team, the BC lions and at BC Women’s Hospital. She also has experience in working with the MS society, pre/post-natal mothers, senior centers, and amputees.

After several years of playing hockey and swimming competitively and playing on her high school rugby team, Brianna experienced a number of injuries. Those injuries led to an interest in learning about the human body and pursuing a career oriented around it.

Before joining Massage Therapy, Brianna attended the University of Fraser Valley, graduating with her level 1 and 2 certificates in the carpentry and joinery.

Fun Fact! The strongest muscle, based on its size, is the masseter. It’s a muscle in your jaw. It can close your teeth with a force as great as 200 pounds.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • Vancouver College of Massage Therapy

Kurt Baker

Registered Massage Therapist

Kurt is a recent graduate of the Massage Therapy program at the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy (VCMT). He spent the last 9 years as a personal trainer and CrossFit Coach. His profound interest in the human body and movement began at a young age when he discovered how to change his body with weight training for football, hockey and lacrosse.

During that time, he worked with a wide range of clientele ranging from elite national level athletes of multiple sports, to weight loss, to those with the goal of aspiring to get fit.

Kurt’s goal is to share his passion for wellness with his patients by not only treating, but by educating them on how their body works, how it should move, how to prevent further injuries and ultimately, how to improve performance.

When Kurt is not at the clinic, you can find him training at the local CrossFit gym, playing football or snowboarding one of the local mountains.

Fun Fact! The muscles in your eyes are constantly adjusting as you read, watch TV, or look around you. In an hour of reading, your eyes may make as many as 10,000 coordinated movements.

Treatment(s)
  • Massage Therapy
Education
  • St. Edward’s University

Calli Birch

Kinesiologist And Acupuncturist

Calli attended university in Brenham, Texas receiving an associates degree in arts at Blinn College before transferring to the kinesiology program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas to complete two more years attaining a bachelor’s of arts with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy. Her desire to be a physical therapist stemmed from her love for sports. She has been an athlete her whole life participating in a variety of sports and played college softball throughout her four years of university.

With intense sports comes a lot of injuries and she wanted to learn how to help and heal injured people as well as prevent future injury from occurring. Motion is lotion and the body deserves to be strengthened and healed in a holistic manner. Throughout school she has had the opportunity to work with many groups such as the GO project, the Austin wheelchair basketball league and various rec centers focusing on adaptation in physical activity. These experiences, as well as internships with physical therapy clinics has provided Calli with a vast knowledge of health, rehabilitation and the human body. ⠀

Fun Fact! You use 200 muscles to take a single step forward.

Treatment(s)
  • Chiropractic
Education
  • Palmer West Chiropractic College
  • Simon Fraser University

Dr. Kamran Eghtesad

Chiropractor

Dr. Kamran Eghtesad grew up in Vancouver, BC. Growing up in Vancouver he enjoyed learning about health and wellness. This led him to Simon Fraser University where he studied Kinesiology. From there he began to explore his options in health. He worked with local high school football teams addressing acute injuries. Also, worked on the manufacturing side of creating and designing custom foot orthotics. Conducted ergonomic assessments at PepsiCo to reduce workplace injuries. All these different jobs had one thing in common, they allowed people to do what they love without injury or pain.

This led Dr. Eghtesad to attended Palmer West Chiropractic College in San Jose, California, where he graduated with Cum Laude with a Doctorate in Chiropractic. While in San Jose he spent his free time teaching anatomy and conducting cadaveric dissections to further understand the human body. He also worked with Stanford University Neuroscience and Pain Lab to publish research to explore artificial intelligence for neck MRI’s.

Fun Fact! The spine has an exceptional memory. Your spine will remember and become used to your posture. This is why it can be hard to get out of the habit of having bad posture. But once you do make a habit of good posture, your spine will remember it.

Treatment(s)
  • Chiropractic
Education
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic West
  • University of the Fraser Valley

Dr. Dana Bloomquist

Chiropractor

Dr. Dana Bloomquist has always had a passion for leading an active lifestyle. Horseback riding injuries led her to try out chiropractic care in her teens, which inspired her to pursue a career in the health and wellness field. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of the Fraser Valley, in Abbotsford, BC and worked as a personal trainer for 3 years. She then went on to graduate with academic honours from Palmer College of Chiropractic West, in San Jose, California. She is certified in Active Release Technique (ART), Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation (FAKTR), Functional Movement Screening (FMS) and Functional Movement Taping (FMT).

Dr. Bloomquist believes in implementing an active, patient-centered approach in determining the root of the problem and by identifying ways to decrease problem repetition. She strives to help patients to not just live day-to-day, but for them to thrive and live optimally. Treatments include integrating soft-tissue techniques with joint mobilizations, and healthy living education. When not in the clinic, Dr. Bloomquist can be found exploring the beautiful trails of BC by foot, horseback and bike.

Fun Fact! The spine is very strong It can hold hundreds of kilograms of weight.

Treatment(s)
  • Physiotherapy
Education
  • University of Sydney

Mike Hosseini

Physiotherapist

Mike’s approach to physiotherapy is to not only decrease your pain, but to identify the real reason behind your injury. Properly understanding why the injury occurred in the first place will lower its chances of happening again. To accomplish this, Mike treats with manual therapy, education, exercise and improving movement patterns.

Mike decided to become a physiotherapist after tearing his ACL while playing soccer at the age of 21. Working closely with his physiotherapist, he was sold on Physio as a career path. To pursue his goal, he made the big decision to move to Sydney, Australia and completed a Master of Physiotherapy degree. He then stayed in Australia to gain valuable clinical experience but is now back home, providing his Australian perspective to clients.

Fun Fact! Adults will end up with only 206 bones, but babies are born with about 100 nore It’s not that bones disappear as we grow older. Instead, these tiny bones fuse together to form the larger bones of the skeletal system.

Treatment(s)
  • Physiotherapy
Education
  • Queen’s University
  • University of British Columbia

Johnny Guan

Physiotherapist

Johnny completed his Master’s degree in Physical Therapy at Queen’s University, and bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. Johnny has also completed two diplomas in General Studies and Sport Science at Douglas College. Johnny’s clinical experience includes time in both public and private settings. Johnny started his career in public practice (hospitals) and private clinics in Kingston and the Greater Toronto Area. In addition to his clinical experience, Johnny spent four years as a behavioral interventionist, and was a research assistant for a Parkinson’s disease and concussion study at UBC. Johnny has a variety of interests including treating patients with MSK (musculoskeletal), cardiopulmonary diseases, neurological conditions, vestibular issues, and concussion. He also enjoys helping patients who have injuries from sports, motor vehicle accidents, and other chronic conditions. In his spare time Johnny enjoys playing basketball, table tennis, tennis and badminton. He also loves volunteering and has spent eight years with organizations geared towards helping those with physical and behavioral challenges such as the Special Olympics and the Vancouver Chinese Policing Center.

Johnny is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

我可以用广东话交谈
我可以用普通话交谈

Fun Fact! Bone marrow is a spongy substance that’s found inside large bones like your hips, pelvis, and femur. Bone marrow houses stem cells. Stem cells are responsible for producing many of your body’s most important cells, including blood, brain, heart, and bone cells