Shoulder Pain in Des Peres, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It can make everything from watering the flowers to diving for a softball frustrating and, for certain people, not even an option. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes PT in Des Peres, MO, our licensed physical therapists are experts at designing customized treatment plans, based on evidence, to get you back to the activities you love most. Trust in us to make your shoulder pain an ancient memory. Schedule an appointment through our website or find our location nearest you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Des Peres, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. 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 responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Given the relatively shallow dish, it is the most mobile joint in the body.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the collarbone the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. 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 gliding joint located where the collarbone meets the sternum at the bottom 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 ligaments connecting it to bone. It is made up of the shoulder blade and its articulation with the ribcage.
In order to support 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 tough sheath or membrane that surrounds and protects the joints in the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which provide passive stability while still allowing for a wide range of movements
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder 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 pump much-needed blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must function well. Sufficient blood must flow to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and repair minor damage. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons attaching bone and muscle 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 functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it can lead to a disruption of the whole complex, and anywhere from nagging to debilitating 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?
As the shoulder is complex, shoulder pain can have any of a number of root causes, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from repeated activities to old age. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in Des Peres, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between tissues. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because swollen after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic activities like getting dressed incredibly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: This can happen because of a sudden blow, repeated overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as tennis or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: This can happen because of wear and tear or general weakness as we get weaker.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such a blow to the shoulder, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Complete tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are pain with specific movements, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a clicking sensation with certain movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (outer edge of your shoulder blade) rubs against the soft tissue in your shoulder. It often occurs in tandem with an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, and is most common in athletes or others who engage in physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the head of 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 overuse. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming 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 unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, 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, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can find effective pain management methods with Des Peres, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most prone to breaking. They are often the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with considerable inflammation and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue interferes with communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves rupture. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of feeling in your upper extremities. They are usually the result of a sudden blow but can also occur because of degenerative conditions.
At times, one injury leads to another, for example an impingement that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Des Peres, 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 Des Peres, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a tailored treatment plan with certified physical therapists and movement health specialists in Des Peres, MO can be a great way to get you back to the things you love to do the most.
How Do Des Peres, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized and proven physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- 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 physician, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and keep you safe as you participate in sports or 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 target harder-to-reach damaged 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 do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to optimize your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Des Peres, MO physician to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
Other services we offer in Des Peres, MO include:
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Post Surgical Rehabilitation
- Shin Splint Treatment
- Direct Access Physical Therapy
- Gait Analysis
- Pelvic Floor Therapy
- Dry Needling Near Me
- Tendonitis Treatment
- Manual Physical Therapy
- Orthopedic Rehab Near Me
Des Peres, 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 Des Peres, MO residents by developing evidence-backed treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Request an appointment online or find our location nearest you.