Shoulder Impingement


I have shoulder impingement in my left shoulder from the position of my scapula. After 2 months of rest and physical therapy, I still have severe pain after any shoulder exercise.
PT has included E-Stim, scapula punches and very little scapula retraction.
Does anyone have any suggestions for exercises, stretches or mobility work that could help?


Suggestion one is see your doctor, explain what's going on still, even after rest and rehab, and see what they say.
Suggestion two is have the doctor order an MRI with contrast. That way there is a clear picture of what is wrong (or not wrong) in the shoulder.
Suggestion three is talk to the doctor and find out if the impingement is because the muscles around your scapula are compensating for something.

As an example, after my first shoulder surgery, I had issues with mobility and aches, particularly around the scapula. The MRI showed the issue, triggering a second surgery to fix it. Then the rehab targeted the muscle around it to get stronger and working again.


Regular Member
I had two dislocations that resulted in multiple tears in the cartilage labrum. I’d put up with pain and shit mobility for years before I got an x-ray with contrast and an MRI, then a scope. If they haven’t done recent imagery, I’d do everything I can to get them to do it. My shoulder is almost 100%, now that I finally stopped trying to deal with it myself.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


This is my first shoulder issue, and I’m definitely dedicating some time to trying to fix it on my own.
I remembered that I had a copy of Supple Leopard and I’m giving those impingement fixes a try.


So far so good. Supple Leopard has a very good list of exercises for impingement. It has been very helpful. Using a set of back exercises and chest stretches, I have significantly reduced the pain, and increased mobility and strength.
There is a specific exercise that I do several times per day. With straight arms I bend over and push down on the back of a chair. Keeping strong pressure on the back of the chair, I walk backwards until I’m fully bend over with my arms straight out in front. Then I walk back forward, still pushing down, until I’m upright. This provides instant, fairly long lasting relief, and or strangely keeps my shoulders pulled back after the exercise is over. Photo included for clarification.

I do a lot of chest stretches, and spend a lot of time laying on my back on a roller with my arms draped back.

I am also constantly drawing my shoulders back and fixing my posture, throughout the day and during every exercise. Icing in the evening and taking anti-inflammatories also seems to help.

After weeks of doing PT and getting no guidance on what to do on my own to help, I am much happier with the progress I’m getting on my own.

This is unique to me, and I am lucky that I didn’t have further damage. I have experience rehab’ing back and knee injuries, so I was confident that I wasn’t causing further damage. I my PT also reassured that I wasn’t at serious risk for further injury, so YMMV

Going forward, I have some plans to prevent this from happening again. More back exercises and better posture, obviously. I also recognized that this coincided with a huge advancement in my squat, and I am thinking that torquing into position for squats was a contributing factor. A Safety Squat Bar or cambered bar may be in my future. I think that a cambered bar may put me in a much more comfortable position for a wide range of exercises.


Curious as to why your PT was focused more on moving the scapula forward (punches) and not rearward (retractions). That's generally the opposite of what we do in typical impingement cases. Glad to hear the Supple Leopard exercises have helped.


That's generally the opposite of what we do in typical impingement cases.
That was exactly my problem. I was not happy that I wasn’t seeing any progress. Based on PTing on my own, I am now pain free for 80% of my movements.
At PT, I never got a cue to retract my shoulders, and my tendon was likely getting shredded because I was doing movements with my shoulders positioned incorrectly. If I hadn’t done research on my own, PT would probably have continued doing more harm than good.

A PT fixed my back a few years ago. Many of them are very skilled, but you have to research on your own. The #1 thing this has taught me is that I have to work mobility and positioning all the time, not just when I’m in pain.


TLDR: Donnie Thompson Bow Tie is a godsend.

I was still having some nagging pain even with constant rehabbing. Enter the Bow Tie. I got the Formal Bow Tie which is more rigid than the Casual, but is still very stretchy and comfortable. I use it for warmup and building up to working sets of each movement: squats, bench, presses, rows, etc. I even wore it to mow the lawn to see how it would feel.
In my limited experience, this is not a brace or a crutch. It modifies your positioning so you do better even after you take the Bow Tie off. I have noticed a significant difference in my posture, enough so that I even changed the position of my car’s seat to a different position.
I would totally recommend the Bow Tie as a training tool if you have any shoulder issues.


I had never heard of the Donnie Thompson Bow Tie, that's interesting. Glad that you're making positive progress.
First of all, you must visit a doctor because it is not a good idea to start some training as you can damage yourself more. Also, you can try any posture corrector to fix the position of your bones, It will decrease the pain and the recovery process will be faster. There are special shoulder support brace & rotator cuffs. You can check such correctors here.