Shoulder Pain in Berkeley, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know the limitations it can place on your life. It can make any basic task from brushing your teeth to diving for a softball frustrating and, sometimes, impossible. But pain and limited shoulder movement does not have to be a part of your everyday life. At Axes PT in Berkeley, MO, our experienced physical therapists create tailored treatment modalities, based on evidence, to get you back to the activities you love most. Let us help you make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Request an appointment through our website or find our location nearest you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Berkeley, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most intricate joints we have. In actuality, it is a complex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a relatively small dish called the glenoid. Given the relatively shallow socket, it is the most mobile joint in the body.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A gliding joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the clavicle meets the breastbone at the foundation of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it it ensures your arm and body act in coordination.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have ligaments connecting it to bone. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the thoracic cage.
In addition to those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering the head of the upper arm bone, which power movement and keep the head of the humerus firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder
- the shoulder capsule, a a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for a wide range of movements
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which connect muscle to bone
- the brachial plexus nerves that allow the brain to tell the shoulder and arm to move and the shoulder to tell the brain when it feels pain or other sensory information
- the arteries that pump nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must be able to work together. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, the ligaments connecting bones need to help maintain structure, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a complimentary injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from repeated activities to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our physical and occupations therapists see in Berkeley, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and other joints. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming swollen after repeated activities, often occurs at the same time as irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic activities like brushing your teeth immensely difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and fields of employment, such as swimming or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or general weakness as we get weaker.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial tears unknowingly. Full-thickness tears, where the tendon is no longer attached whatsoever to the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are pain with specific motions, pain when sleeping, and a cracking feeling with specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs alongside an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement occurs the most in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the ball of the humerus is exits the shoulder socket, and also can be the result of injury or overuse. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often causes or is the result of injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Long-term instability will cause shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are many kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the form that typically affects the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. It can be the result of old age, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management is possible with Berkeley, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually significant, along with substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue blocks communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves burst. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by sudden trauma but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, for example how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Berkeley, MO may help determine the root of it. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Berkeley, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find relief with a customized treatment plan with certified physical therapists and movement health specialists in Berkeley, MO can be an effective way to return to the activities you love.
How Do Berkeley, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your tailored and proven physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify degenerative tissue, break down scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with your doctor, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and allow you to participate in physical activity or go back to work while your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to offer your shoulder a low-intensity exercise with high-intensity benefits
- Trigger point dry needling to target harder-to-reach irritated soft tissue to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to ensure you do not contribute to your injuries or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law stipulates that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Berkeley, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our licensed physical and occupational therapists work alongside your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
Berkeley, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is imperative to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for Berkeley, MO residents by implementing evidence-backed treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. You do not have to delay in getting back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.