Shoulder Pain in Creve Coeur, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It makes any daily task from pouring a cup of coffee to making a breakaway layup painful and, in some cases, impossible. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in Creve Coeur, MO, our licensed physical therapists are experts at designing tailored treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Allow us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Request an appointment online or call our location most convenient for you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Creve Coeur, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most intricate joints we have. In reality, it is made up of four independent smaller joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the glenoid. Because the top of the upper arm bone is 3-4 times larger than the socket, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the clavicle to the acromion, the part of the scapula that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane 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 sternum at the base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it it ensures your arm and body move in tandem.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is not a true anatomical joint as it does not have ligaments connecting it to bone. 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 upper arm bone 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 attach bones together and provide stability for the capsule
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- the brachial plexus nerves that allow for the brain and muscles to communicate with each other
- the arteries that supply much-needed blood to the shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must be able to work 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 connecting bones need to be similarly healthy, and the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. When any of these parts are not at optimal health, it can lead to a disruption of the entire complex, and anywhere from nagging to intense shoulder pain or loss of function. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, contact Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by numerous different circumstances, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Creve Coeur, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between muscles, bones, tendons, and skin. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because irritated after repeated activities, often occurs at the same time as rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily tasks like getting in and out of cars incredibly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. There are two causes of tendinitis:
- Acute: The result of trauma, repeated overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and fields of employment, such as track and field throwing events or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
Symptoms include smarting pain, throbbing, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, like a blow to the shoulder, or repetitive movements or old age. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. A partial tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. Symptoms include pain when performing certain movements, pain when sleeping, and a clicking sensation with certain movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (the bony tip of your scapula) pinches the rotator cuff and bursae. It often occurs in combination with an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become damaged, and also can be the result of injury or wear and tear. 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 surrounding areas of the shoulder. Long-term instability will cause shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While there are at least six kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the form 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, persistent injuries, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management can be found with Creve Coeur, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-impact collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually severe, and the shoulder will experience substantial inflammation and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue blocks their electric signals, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, numbness, and loss of sensation in your upper extremities. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also occur because of overuse.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, for example a dislocation that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in Creve Coeur, MO may help you discover the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Creve Coeur, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a tailored treatment plan with licensed physical therapists that are experts in movement health in Creve Coeur, MO can be a great way to return to the things you love to do the most.
How Do Creve Coeur, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized 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, coordinated together with your surgeon, if your shoulder pain was caused by an injury that needed surgery to correct
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and keep you safe as you participate in sports or go back to work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to offer your shoulder a low-intensity exercise with high-intensity benefits
- Trigger point dry needling to attack damaged soft tissue deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to ensure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective techniques to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Creve Coeur, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to make sure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
Creve Coeur, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is important to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for Creve Coeur, MO people of all ages by creating 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 activities you love and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment online or reach out to our location nearest you.