Shoulder Pain in Chesterfield, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It can make any basic task from watering the flowers to playing volleyball frustrating and, for certain people, unfeasible. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes Physical Therapy in Chesterfield, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in tailored treatment modalities, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Trust in us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Make an appointment through our website or find the location nearest you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Chesterfield, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most complex joints we have. In reality, what is referred to as 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 the socket of the glenoid. Given the relatively shallow dish, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the clavicle the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. A plane style synovial joint, it allows your shoulder blade to follow the movements of the other shoulder joints.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint located where the collarbone meets the breastbone at the base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it connects the movement of the upper limb with the core of your body.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have ligaments connecting it to bone. It is made up of the shoulder blade and its articulation with the ribcage.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering the head of the upper arm bone, which power movement and stabilize and protect the GH joint
- the shoulder capsule, a tough sheath or membrane that encloses the joints in the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- 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 supply nutrient-rich blood to the shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must be able to work together. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to maintain healthy soft tissue and repair minor damage. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be intact and strong, the ligaments connecting bones need to help support proper 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 can lead to a breakdown of the entire complex, and anywhere from nagging to severe shoulder pain or loss of function. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by numerous different circumstances, from sports injuries to acute trauma, a work injury from repeated activities to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are common causes of shoulder pain that our physical and occupations therapists see in Chesterfield, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your joints. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming swollen after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with shoulder impingement, and can make basic activities like getting dressed tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of trauma, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as tennis or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: This can happen because of degenerative conditions or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, tenderness, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such a blow to the shoulder, or repetitive movements or old age. They begin with fraying and ultimately tear. People often live with partial tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, often require surgery. Symptoms include having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when sleeping, and a popping sensation with certain movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of the rotator cuff and bursae rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs in tandem with an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is most common in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become stretched, torn, or detached, and also can be the result of injury or 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 is accompanied by injury to the supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, osteoarthritis is the condition that typically affects the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management is possible with Chesterfield, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most susceptible to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually intense, and the shoulder will experience 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 their electric signals, or the nerves burst. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of feeling in your shoulder, arm, or hand. 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 experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Chesterfield, MO may help determine the underlying cause. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Chesterfield, 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 experienced physical therapists that specialize in movement health in Chesterfield, MO can be a great way to return to the activities you love.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Chesterfield, MO
Your customized and proven physical therapy treatments may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to detect and treat any soft tissue disorders
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your doctor, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and keep you safe as you participate in physical activity or work while your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- Trigger point dry needling to target harder-to-reach damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you do not contribute to your injuries or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective exercises to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 states that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so it’s necessary to speak to your Chesterfield, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our professional physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
Chesterfield, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is important to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for Chesterfield, MO residents by implementing proven treatment plans based on 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 activities you love and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment through our website or find our location most convenient for you.