Shoulder Pain in Bridgeton, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how hard it can be to manage. It can make everything from watering the flowers to making a breakaway layup frustrating and, for some of us, unfeasible. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in Bridgeton, MO, our professional physical therapists are experts at developing personalized treatment modalities, backed by proven research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Trust in us to make your shoulder pain an ancient memory. Request an appointment through our website or find the location most convenient for you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Bridgeton, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most complex joints. In reality, what we call the shoulder joint is made up of four different 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. Because the the top of the humerus is 3-4 times larger than the socket, it is the most mobile joint in the body.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. A gliding joint, it allows for additional rotation of the shoulder blade.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint formed by the clavicle the breastbone at the base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it it ensures your arm and body act in coordination.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is not a true anatomical joint as it does not have does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the thoracic cage.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the humerus, which power movement and keep the head of the humerus firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that encloses the joints in the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder which affix 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 blood vessels that pump nutritious blood to the shoulder
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system being healthy and working together. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural recovery processes. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, the ligaments that attach our bones need to be similarly healthy, and the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder is complex, shoulder pain can have many root causes, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from overuse to old age. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Bridgeton, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between muscles, bones, tendons, and skin. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming irritated after overuse, often occurs in combination with inflammation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic activities like getting dressed tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of a tendon becoming irritated. There are two causes of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, repeated overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and occupations, such as track and field throwing events or lifting and lowering objects.
- Chronic: This can happen because of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we age.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, such falling on an outstretched arm, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial thickness tears unaware. Complete tears, where the tendon is completely detached from the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are pain with specific motions, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a clicking feeling when performing certain 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 is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when the humerus is exits the shoulder socket, and also can happen suddenly or from overuse. A dislocation can be partial, coming in and out of the socket, or complete when the bone completely comes out of the socket. It often happens in combination with injury to the supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Long-term instability will cause shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While there are many types of arthritis, the shoulder most typically suffers from osteoarthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones weakens and wears away. It can be the result of tissue weakening as we become older, persistent trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management is possible with Bridgeton, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-energy collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue interferes with signals between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by a sudden blow but can also happen because of wear and tear.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as instability that leads to impingement. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in Bridgeton, MO may help you discover why you’re experiencing the pain. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Bridgeton, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a tailored treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists that are experts in movement health in Bridgeton, MO can be a great way to return to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Bridgeton, MO
Your personalized and evidence-backed physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to detect and treat any problems with your muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your surgeon, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to provide support for your shoulder and allow you to participate in physical activity or work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- Trigger point dry needling to target irritated muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you do not contribute to your injuries or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective techniques to optimize your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 states that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your Bridgeton, 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 make sure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Bridgeton, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is important to not only living our every day life, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for our Bridgeton, MO clients by developing proven treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. Do not wait to get back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Make an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.