Shoulder Pain in O’Fallon, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It makes any basic task from strapping on a seatbelt to making a breakaway layup painful and, in some cases, not even an option. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes Physical Therapy in O’Fallon, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in personalized treatment plans, 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 our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in O’Fallon, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most complex joints we have. In reality, it is a complex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Because the the top of the humerus is several times larger than the socket, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the clavicle to the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane style synovial joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint formed by the collarbone the sternum at the foundation of the neck. This joint is where the arm and torso meet, it connects 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 attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the thoracic cage.
In order to support those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which are responsible for movement and stabilize the ball of the humerus within the shoulder socket
- the shoulder capsule, a a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder 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 for the brain and muscles to communicate with each other
- the arteries that pump nutritious blood to the shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must function well. Sufficient blood must flow to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, the ligaments connecting bones need to help maintain structure, and the brain and shoulder need to have clear communication with each other. 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 debilitating shoulder pain or loss of function. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from overuse to old age. The following are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in O’Fallon, 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 overuse, often occurs at the same time as irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic activities like getting in and out of cars exceedingly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, repeated overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and occupations, such as track and field throwing events or lifting and lowering boxes.
- Chronic: This can happen because of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such a blow to the shoulder, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial thickness tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, where the tendon is no longer attached whatsoever to the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a grinding feeling when performing specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. 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 damaged, and also can happen suddenly or from 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 is accompanied by injury to the surrounding areas 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 condition that typically affects the shoulder. It is the result of the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones breaks down. 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 O’Fallon, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, clavicle, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most susceptible to fracture. They are often the result of falling from a height or high-energy collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually significant, and the shoulder will experience substantial inflammation and bruising.
- 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 are otherwise damaged. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of a sudden blow but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in O’Fallon, MO may help determine the underlying cause. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in O’Fallon, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. Most people who experience shoulder pain can experience recovery with a personalized treatment plan with experienced physical therapists that specialize in movement health in O’Fallon, MO can be a successful way to get you back to the things you love to do the most.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in O’Fallon, MO
Your customized and evidence-backed physical therapy treatments may include:
- 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 physician, if your shoulder pain was caused by an injury that needed surgery to correct
- Kinesio Taping® to provide support for your shoulder and keep you safe as you participate in sports or 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 damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- 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 techniques to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law states that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your O’Fallon, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our licensed physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
Other services we offer in O’Fallon, 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
O’Fallon, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder is essential to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for O’Fallon, MO people of all ages by creating evidence-backed treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. You do not have to delay in getting back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Request an appointment online or reach out to our location most convenient for you.