MRI of the shoulder is widely considered the imaging modality of choice in the evaluation of shoulder pain and the clinical impingement syndrome. This is because of its direct evaluation of all of the soft tissue structures of the subacromial space, as well as its ability to depict the relationship of the overlying osseous and soft tissue structures of the coracoacromial arch. It also provides information regarding the capsulolabral anatomy and, with the addition of MR arthrography, is becoming recognized as the imaging modality of choice for instability workup. MRI evaluation, when combined with the always important clinical history, physical examination, and radiographs, provides the referring clinician and orthopedic surgeon with the most anatomic and pathological information possible. This, in turn, allows the most informed decision making possible regarding conservative management or surgical treatment.