Shoulder Pain in Ellisville, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know how debilitating it can be. It makes any daily task from pouring a cup of coffee to serving an ace on the tennis court frustrating and, in some cases, unfeasible. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes PT in Ellisville, MO, our professional physical therapists are experts at creating customized treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Allow us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Request an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Ellisville, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. In truth, it is made up of four independent smaller joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Because the top of the upper arm bone 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 helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint formed by the clavicle the sternum at the base of the neck. This joint is where the arm and torso meet, it links the movement of the upper limb with the core of your body.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is not a true anatomical joint as it does not have typical joint characteristics. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the part of rib cage at the back of our bodies.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the humerus, which are responsible for movement and keep the ball of the upper arm bone slipping out of the socket
- 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 a wide range of movements
- 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 arteries that pump much-needed blood to the shoulder
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system being healthy and working together. Blood must be allowed to reach 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 messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, 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?
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 overuse to old age. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Ellisville, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as shock absorbers and reduce friction in joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because irritated after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic activities like brushing your teeth immensely 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 trauma, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as volleyball or lifting and lowering objects.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or general weakness as we get weaker.
Symptoms include smarting pain, tenderness, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or wear and tear. They begin with fraying and ultimately tear. People often live with partial tears unknowingly. 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 lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a clicking sensation with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of the rotator cuff and bursae rubbing against your shoulder blade. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings after an injury. 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 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. 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 surrounding areas 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. It occurs when the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones weakens and wears away. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management is possible with Ellisville, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most prone to breaking. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually significant, along with substantial inflammation and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue blocks their electric signals, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. These injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by a sudden blow but can also occur because of degenerative conditions.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as an impingement that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Ellisville, MO may help you discover the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Ellisville, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a tailored treatment plan with experienced physical therapists that are experts in movement health in Ellisville, MO can be an effective way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Ellisville, MO
Your personalized 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 problems with your muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with your surgeon, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and allow you to 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 damaged soft tissue deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you do not contribute to your injuries or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so it’s important to speak to your Ellisville, MO physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists work alongside your primary care physician to make sure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
Ellisville, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is imperative to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on patient results for our Ellisville, MO clients by developing proven treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. You do not have to delay in getting back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment through our website or call our location nearest you.