Shoulder Pain in Saint Paul, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It makes everything from pouring a cup of coffee to serving an ace on the tennis court painful and, sometimes, not even an option. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in Saint Paul, MO, our licensed physical therapists create tailored treatment modalities, proven to work through research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Trust in us to make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Schedule an appointment online or find our 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 complex joints. In actuality, 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. Given the relatively shallow socket, it is the most mobile joint in the body.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the clavicle to the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. A gliding joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint located where the collarbone meets the breastbone at the bottom of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it connects the movement of the upper limb with the core of your body.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have ligaments connecting it to bone. 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 humerus, which power movement and stabilize and protect the GH joint
- the shoulder capsule, a a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for a wide range of movements
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder which affix 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 nutritious blood to the shoulder
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system being healthy and working together. Sufficient blood must flow to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and repair minor damage. 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 the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. When any of these parts are not at optimal health, it can lead to a disruption of the whole system, 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 free injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder is complex, shoulder pain can have any of a number of 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. Below 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 the result of the bursae becoming irritated after repeated activities, often occurs in association with irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic tasks like getting dressed exceedingly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, excessive throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as throwing overhead or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: This can happen because 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, like a blow to the shoulder, or wear and tear. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. People often live with partial tears unaware. Complete tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. Symptoms include having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a cracking sensation with certain movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (outer edge of your shoulder blade) irritates 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, but rather by physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become damaged, and also can be the result of injury or overuse. 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. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- 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. It can be the result of old age, repeated injuries, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management is possible with Saint Paul, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade 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 a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually intense, and the shoulder will experience considerable inflammation and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue blocks their electric signals, or the nerves burst. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of feeling in your upper extremities. They are commonly caused by high-impact trauma but can also occur because of wear and tear.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, such as a dislocation that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Saint Paul, MO may help you discover the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Saint Paul, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a customized treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists and movement health specialists in Saint Paul, MO can be a great way to get you back to optimal movement health.
How Do Saint Paul, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized and evidence-backed physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- 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 physical activity or 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 attack harder-to-reach damaged soft tissue to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to ensure you do not contribute to your injuries or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective techniques 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 primary care physician to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our professional physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Other services we offer in Saint Paul, 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
Saint Paul, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder is important to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for Saint Paul, MO residents by developing proven 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. Make an appointment online or find our location nearest you.