Shoulder Pain in Jefferson Barracks, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how hard it can be to manage. It can make any daily task from brushing your teeth to playing volleyball 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 Jefferson Barracks, MO, our professional physical therapists create tailored treatment modalities, backed by proven research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Let us help you turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Make an appointment online or find the location nearest you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Jefferson Barracks, MO
The shoulder is among human body’s largest and most complex joints. In actuality, it is a complex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Given the relatively shallow socket, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the clavicle the acromion, the part of the scapula that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint located where the collarbone meets the sternum at the foundation of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it it ensures your arm and body move in tandem.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. 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 allow for movement movement and stabilize the ball of the humerus within the shoulder socket
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that surrounds and protects 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 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 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 attaching bone and muscle must be intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our bones need to help maintain structure, and the brain and shoulder need to have clear communication with each other. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it can lead to a disruption of the whole system, and anywhere from nagging to severe shoulder pain or loss of function. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, contact Axes’ physical therapists for a no-risk, no-obligation 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 Jefferson Barracks, 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 irritated after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make daily activities like getting in and out of cars exceedingly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, excessive throwing, or other overhead activities common in some sports and fields of employment, such as tennis or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or general weakness as we get weaker.
Symptoms include a dull ache, throbbing, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Complete tears, where the tendon is no longer attached whatsoever to the bone, do not heal by themselves. Symptoms include having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when sleeping, and a grinding feeling with specific 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 rarely caused by overuse, but rather by 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 wear and tear. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often causes or is the result of injury to the supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Long-term instability will result in shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, the shoulder most commonly experiences osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. It can be the result of tissue weakening as we become older, frequent trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management can be found with Jefferson Barracks, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most susceptible to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or forceful collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with considerable swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, numbness, and loss of feeling in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are commonly caused by high-impact trauma but can also occur because of degenerative conditions.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in Jefferson Barracks, MO may help determine the underlying cause. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Jefferson Barracks, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a customized treatment plan with professional physical therapists that specialize in movement health in Jefferson Barracks, MO can be a successful way to return to the things you love to do the most.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Jefferson Barracks, MO
Your personalized and evidence-backed physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify soft tissue restrictions, smooth out scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- 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 your body heals
- 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 ensure 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 Law stipulates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s important to speak to your Jefferson Barracks, MO primary care 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 make sure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
Jefferson Barracks, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder is important to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for Jefferson Barracks, MO people of all ages 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. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to the location nearest you.