Shoulder Pain in St. Ann, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how hard it can be to manage. It can make any basic task 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 St. Ann, MO, our professional physical therapists create personalized treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Let us help you safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to the location most convenient for you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in St. Ann, MO
The shoulder is among human body’s largest and most complex joints. In truth, it is made up of four independent smaller 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. Given the relatively shallow socket, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane style synovial 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 collarbone the breastbone at the bottom of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it coordinates 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 does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the thoracic cage.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering the head of the upper arm bone, which power movement and keep the ball of the humerus slipping out of the socket
- the shoulder capsule, a tough sheath or membrane that encloses the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which help connect bone to bone and help reinforce the capsule
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder which connect muscle to bone
- the brachial plexus nerves that allow for the brain and muscles to communicate with each other
- the arteries that pump nutritious blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must function well. Sufficient blood must flow to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong 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 intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our bones need to help maintain structure, and the brain and shoulder need to have clear communication with each other. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it can lead to a breakdown of the entire complex, and anywhere from nagging to intense shoulder pain or loss of function. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, contact Axes’ physical therapists for a no-risk, no-obligation injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder has so many moving parts, shoulder pain can have any of a number of root causes, from sports injuries to acute trauma, a work injury from repeated activities to old age. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in St. Ann, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and other joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because irritated after overuse, often occurs at the same time as rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily activities like laying down to go to sleep exceedingly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and occupations, such as tennis or lifting and lowering boxes.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or general weakness as we get weaker.
Symptoms include smarting pain, tenderness, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such falling on an outstretched arm, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, 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 specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (the bony tip of your shoulder blade) irritates the soft tissue in your shoulder. 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 occurs when the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become stretched, torn, or detached, and also can be the result of injury or 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 supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Chronic instability will result in shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While there are at least six kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the form that typically affects the shoulder. It is the result of the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones breaks down. Common causes include old age, frequent injuries, and overuse. There is no cure for arthritis, but you can find effective pain management methods with St. Ann, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, and the shoulder will experience considerable swelling 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 rupture. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, tingling, and loss of sensation in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are usually the result of high-impact trauma but can also occur because of overuse.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, such as 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 St. Ann, MO may help you discover the underlying cause. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in St. Ann, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a customized treatment plan with certified physical therapists that specialize in movement health in St. Ann, MO can be a great way to get you back to optimal movement health.
How Do St. Ann, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your personalized and proven physical therapy treatments may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify soft tissue restrictions, smooth out scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with your surgeon, 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 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 target harder-to-reach irritated muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to ensure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your St. Ann, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
St. Ann, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is essential to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for St. Ann, MO people of all ages by implementing evidence-backed treatment plans based on 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 online or call our location most convenient for you.