Shoulder Pain in O’Fallon, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how debilitating it can be. It can make any basic task from driving to serving an ace on the tennis court painful and, for some of us, unfeasible. But pain and limited shoulder movement does not have to be a part of your everyday life. At Axes PT in O’Fallon, MO, our experienced physical therapists are experts at designing tailored treatment plans, based on evidence, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Let us help you turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Schedule an appointment through our website or find our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in O’Fallon, MO
The shoulder is among 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. 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 bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. A plane style synovial joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the collarbone meets the breastbone at the foundation of the neck. This joint is where the arm and body meet, it it ensures your arm and body act in coordination.
- 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 is made up of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering 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 a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the joints in the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which attach bones together and provide stability for the capsule
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder which attach 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 arteries that pump much-needed blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must be able to work together. Blood must be allowed to reach the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural recovery processes. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, 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 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, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a complimentary injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from repeated activities 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 act as shock absorbers and reduce friction in joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because irritated after repeated activities, often occurs in association with shoulder impingement, and can make basic tasks like getting dressed incredibly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two causes of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, repeated overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some competitive and activities and occupations, such as tennis or lifting and lowering objects.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, such falling on an outstretched arm, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, often require surgery. Common symptoms are pain when performing certain motions, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a popping sensation when performing specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (the bony tip of your shoulder blade) irritates the rotator cuff and bursae. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings after an injury. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by 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 happens in combination with 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, osteoarthritis is the form that typically affects the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. Common causes include old age, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management can be found with O’Fallon, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or high-energy collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with substantial swelling and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are stretched, when scar tissue blocks communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves rupture. These injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also occur because of wear and tear.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, for example an impingement that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in O’Fallon, MO may help determine why you’re experiencing the pain. 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 tailored treatment plan with experienced physical therapists and movement health specialists in O’Fallon, MO can be a great way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
How Do O’Fallon, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your personalized and proven physical therapy treatments may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to detect and treat any soft tissue disorders
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your physician, if your shoulder pain was caused by an injury that needed surgery to correct
- Kinesio Taping® to reduce pain and inflammation and allow you to participate in physical activity 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 attack irritated soft tissue deeper in the body 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 techniques to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 states that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your O’Fallon, MO doctor 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 ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
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 residents by implementing evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and desired activity level. Do not wait to get back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Make an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you.