Shoulder Pain in Oakland, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the limitations it can place on your life. It can make everything from driving to playing volleyball painful and, in some cases, not even an option. But pain and limited shoulder movement does not have to be a part of your everyday life. At Axes Physical Therapy in Oakland, MO, our licensed physical therapists are experts at designing customized treatment modalities, based on evidence, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Trust in us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Make an appointment online or reach out to our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Oakland, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most intricate joints we have. In actuality, it is a compound of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the glenoid. Given the relatively shallow dish, 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 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 base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it coordinates 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 is made up of the scapula and its articulation with the ribcage.
In order to support those four joints, the shoulder is made up of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which are responsible for movement and keep the head of the humerus firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder
- the shoulder capsule, a tough sheath or membrane 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 nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
Optimal shoulder and movement health depends on every part of the system functioning well. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be intact and strong, the ligaments connecting bones need to help maintain structure, 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 often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a no-risk, no-obligation 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 being struck by an object, 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 Oakland, 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 swollen after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with inflammation of the rotator cuff, and can make daily activities like getting in and out of cars exceedingly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of trauma, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some competitive and activities and occupations, such as track and field throwing events or moving objects above your head.
- Chronic: This can happen because of wear and tear or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
Symptoms include aching, throbbing, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, like lifting an incredibly heavy object, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial tear often goes unnoticed. Complete tears, where the tendon is completely detached from the bone, often require surgery. Common symptoms are pain when performing specific movements, pain when sleeping, and a clicking sensation with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (the bony tip of your scapula) rubs against the rotator cuff and bursae. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings because of 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 occurs when the ball of the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become stretched, torn, or detached, and also can happen suddenly or from 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 surrounding areas of the shoulder. Long-term instability will result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, the shoulder most typically 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 wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management is possible with Oakland, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most prone to breaking. They usually happen as 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 substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue blocks signals between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves are torn into two pieces. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus 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 how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Oakland, MO may help determine the underlying cause. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Oakland, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a customized treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists and movement health specialists in Oakland, MO can be a successful way to return to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
How Do Oakland, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized 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 soft tissue disorders
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with your doctor, 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 your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- 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 make sure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law requires a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s important to speak to your Oakland, 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 work alongside your primary care physician to ensure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
Oakland, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is important to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for Oakland, MO people of all ages by implementing proven treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and desired activity level. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Make an appointment through our website or reach out to our location most convenient for you.