Shoulder Pain in Marlborough, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It can make everything from strapping on a seatbelt 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 Marlborough, MO, our professional physical therapists are experts at creating personalized treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Allow us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Request an appointment online or find our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Marlborough, MO
The shoulder is among human body’s largest and most intricate joints. In reality, 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 allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the clavicle the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. A gliding 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. This joint is where the arm and torso meet, 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 ligaments connecting it to bone. 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 that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which power movement and stabilize and protect the glenohumeral joint
- 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 a wide range of movements
- 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 blood vessels that supply nutrient-rich blood to the shoulder
Being able to move your shoulder pain free depends on every part of the system functioning well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. 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 help support proper structure, and the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. When any of these parts are not at optimal health, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. 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 many root causes, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in Marlborough, 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 overuse, often occurs in association with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily tasks like brushing your teeth tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of a sudden blow, excessive throwing, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and occupations, such as swimming or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
Symptoms include aching, throbbing, and mild swelling.
- 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 tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, do not heal by themselves. Common symptoms are pain when performing specific motions, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a grinding feeling with certain motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of the rotator cuff and bursae rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs alongside 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 stretched, torn, or detached, and also can be the result of injury or wear and tear. 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 supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Long-term instability will result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are at least six kinds of arthritis, the shoulder most commonly experiences osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, persistent trauma, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management can be found with Marlborough, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to fracture. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-impact collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, and the shoulder will experience considerable swelling 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 burst. These injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by sudden trauma but can also happen because of wear and tear.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, for example instability that leads to impingement. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in Marlborough, MO may help you discover the underlying cause. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Marlborough, 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 customized treatment plan with experienced physical therapists and movement health specialists in Marlborough, MO can be a successful way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Marlborough, MO
Your tailored 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 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 target irritated 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 exercises to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law dictates that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Marlborough, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists work alongside your primary care physician to make sure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Marlborough, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder 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 our Marlborough, MO clients by creating evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment through our website or find our location nearest you.