Shoulder Pain in Saint Paul, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It makes everything from pouring a cup of coffee to diving for a softball frustrating and, for certain people, impossible. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes Physical Therapy in Saint Paul, MO, our professional physical therapists are experts at developing customized treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Allow us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Schedule an appointment through our website or reach out to the location most convenient for you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Saint Paul, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most intricate joints. In truth, it is a complex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a relatively small dish called the glenoid. As the ball 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 shoulder blade. A plane joint, it allows your shoulder blade to follow the movements of the other shoulder joints.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint formed by the clavicle the sternum at the bottom of the neck. This joint is where the arm and body meet, 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 attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the part of rib cage at the back of our bodies.
In addition to those four joints, the shoulder is made up of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering the head of the humerus, which power movement and stabilize and protect the glenohumeral joint
- the shoulder capsule, a a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the joints in 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 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 shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must be able to work together. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural recovery processes. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our bones need to help maintain structure, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any of these parts are not at optimal health, it can lead to a breakdown of the entire network, and anywhere from nagging to intense 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 no-risk, no-obligation 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 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 Saint Paul, 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 inflamed after overuse, often occurs in combination with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic activities like carrying groceries incredibly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: The result of trauma, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and fields of employment, such as throwing overhead or moving objects above your head.
- 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 acute injuries, such falling on an outstretched arm, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial thickness tears unaware. Full-thickness tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. Common symptoms are pain with certain motions, pain when sleeping, and a popping sensation with specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (outer edge of your scapula) pinches the soft tissue in your shoulder. It often occurs in combination with 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 occurs when the humerus is forced out of the shoulder socket, and also can happen suddenly or from overuse. 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 causes or is the result of injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are at least six kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the condition that typically affects the shoulder. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones breaks down. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, repeated trauma, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management can be found with Saint Paul, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most prone to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or forceful collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually intense, along with considerable swelling and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves rupture. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of sensation in your upper extremities. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as a fracture causing damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in Saint Paul, MO may help determine why you’re experiencing the pain. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Saint Paul, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can experience relief with a customized treatment plan with professional physical therapists that specialize in movement health in Saint Paul, MO can be an effective way to get you back to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Saint Paul, MO
Your tailored and proven 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, 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 sports or work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to offer your shoulder a low-intensity exercise with high-intensity results
- Trigger point dry needling to target harder-to-reach damaged soft tissue 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 exercises to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Saint Paul, MO 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 your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Saint Paul, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health 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 our Saint Paul, MO clients by developing proven treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. Do not wait to get back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Request an appointment through our website or find the location most convenient for you.