Shoulder Pain in Lake St. Louis, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the limitations it can place on your life. It makes any basic task from strapping on a seatbelt to making a breakaway layup painful and, for certain people, not even an option. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in Lake St. Louis, MO, our experienced physical therapists are experts at developing tailored treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to optimal movement health. Let us help you turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Make an appointment through our website or find our location most convenient for you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Lake St. Louis, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most intricate joints we have. In truth, what is referred to as 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 socket, it has the widest range of motion as any other human joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the clavicle to the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. A plane style synovial joint, it allows for additional rotation of the shoulder blade.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the clavicle meets the breastbone at the base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it it ensures your arm and body act in tandem.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have typical joint characteristics. It is made up of the scapula and its articulation with the ribcage.
In order to support those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- 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 humerus stable
- the shoulder capsule, a tough sheath or membrane that surrounds and protects the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- 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 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. 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 connecting bones need to be similarly healthy, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it can lead to a breakdown 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, 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 acute trauma, a work injury from repeated activities to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Lake St. Louis, 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 inflamed after repeated activities, often occurs in association with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily activities 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: This can happen because of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and fields of employment, such as volleyball or moving objects overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions 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, like a blow to the shoulder, or wear and tear. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Complete tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when sleeping, and a popping sensation when performing specific movements.
- 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 occurs the most in people who are physically active.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when the head of the upper arm bone is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become damaged, and also can happen suddenly or from overuse. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often happens in combination with 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 there are many kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the form that typically affects the shoulder. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones breaks down. Common causes include old age, repeated trauma, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can find effective pain management methods with Lake St. Louis, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most prone to breaking. They are often the result of falling from a height or high-impact collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves burst. These injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by a sudden blow but can also happen because of wear and tear.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as instability that leads to impingement. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Lake St. Louis, MO may help determine the root of it. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Lake St. Louis, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a tailored treatment plan with licensed physical therapists that specialize in movement health in Lake St. Louis, MO can be a great way to get you back to the things you love to do the most.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Lake St. Louis, MO
Your customized 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, smooth out scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your surgeon, if your shoulder pain was caused by an injury that needed surgery to correct
- Kinesio Taping® to provide support for your shoulder and allow you to participate in physical activity or go back to work while your body heals
- 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 irritated muscles, ligaments, and tendons 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 can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law stipulates that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so it’s necessary to speak to your Lake St. Louis, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to ensure you are getting the care that fits into your overall treatment plan.
Lake St. Louis, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is imperative to not only living our every day life, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on patient results for Lake St. Louis, MO residents by creating evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and desired activity level. You do not have to delay in getting back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Request an appointment online or call the location nearest you.