Shoulder Pain in Kirkwood, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It makes any daily task from pouring a cup of coffee to playing volleyball frustrating and, in some cases, unfeasible. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes Physical Therapy in Kirkwood, MO, our experienced physical therapists are experts at designing tailored treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to optimal movement health. Allow us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Kirkwood, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. In actuality, it is a complex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a relatively small dish called the glenoid. Given the relatively shallow dish, 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 shoulder blade. A gliding joint, it allows for additional rotation of the shoulder blade.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint formed by the clavicle the sternum at the foundation of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it coordinates 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 does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. It is made up of the shoulder blade and its articulation with the ribcage.
In addition to those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering 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 tough sheath or membrane that encloses the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which attach bones together and provide stability for the capsule
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which connect muscle to bone
- the brachial plexus nerves that send motor messages from the brain to muscles and sensory information (like pain) from the joints back to the brain
- the blood vessels 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 flow freely to the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our 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 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 free injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder has so many moving parts, shoulder pain can have any of a number of root causes, from sports injuries to being struck by an object, a work injury from repeated activities to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in Kirkwood, 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 at the same time as rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily tasks like carrying groceries exceedingly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and occupations, such as volleyball or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: This can happen because of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we age.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- 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. People often live with partial tears unaware. Complete tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, often require surgery. Common symptoms are having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when sleeping, and a cracking feeling 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 because of an injury. Shoulder impingement occurs the most in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs 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. 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 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 old age, repeated injuries, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but you can find effective pain management methods with Kirkwood, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most prone to breaking. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-energy collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually severe, along with substantial inflammation and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are stretched, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves rupture. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by high-impact trauma but can also happen because of degenerative conditions.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, for example an impingement that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in Kirkwood, MO may help determine the root of it. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Kirkwood, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can experience recovery with a customized treatment plan with experienced physical therapists that are experts in movement health in Kirkwood, MO can be an effective way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
How Do Kirkwood, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your tailored and evidence-backed physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify soft tissue restrictions, break down scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with your physician, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to provide support for your shoulder and allow you to 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 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 do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective exercises to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law dictates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so you need to reach out to your Kirkwood, 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 make sure you are getting the care that fits into your overall treatment plan.
Other services we offer in Kirkwood, 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
Kirkwood, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is essential 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 Kirkwood, MO clients by implementing proven 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 things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Request an appointment through our website or find the location most convenient for you.