Exercise for rotator cuff impingement can help reduce pain and improve function but it may not improve motion and strength. Manual therapy [having the PT perform techniques, such as joint mobilizations or soft tissue release techniques] helps as well. ECRC CAN HELP WITH EXERCISE PROGRAMS and MANUAL THERAPY.

Exercise has significant effects on pain reduction and improvement in function, but not on range of motion or strength for patients with rotator cuff impingement, according to a systematic review published in the January-February issue (Vol 18, Issue 1) of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 

A review of 11 studies was performed to evaluate the role of exercise in treating rotator cuff impingement and to synthesize a standard evidence-based rehabilitation protocol. Data regarding demographics and methodology, and outcomes of pain, range of motion, strength, and function were recorded. Individual components of each rehabilitation program were catalogued. Effectiveness was determined by statistical and clinical significance.

The review found that manual therapy assisits the effects of exercise, yet supervised exercise was not different than home exercise programs. Information regarding specific components of the exercise programs was synthesized into a gold standard rehabilitation protocol for future studies on the nonoperative treatment of rotator cuff impingement.