Shoulder Pain in St. Charles, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how hard it can be to manage. It can make everything from watering the flowers to diving for a softball frustrating and, sometimes, unfeasible. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in St. Charles, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in personalized treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to optimal movement health. Trust in us to make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Schedule an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. Charles, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most intricate joints we have. In reality, it is a compound of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a relatively small dish called the glenoid. Because the top of the upper arm bone is 3-4 times larger than the socket, it is the most mobile joint in the body.
- 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 gliding joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- 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 it ensures your arm and body act in coordination.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is not a true anatomical joint as it does not have ligaments connecting it to bone. 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 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 attach bones together and provide stability for the capsule
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- the brachial plexus nerves that allow the brain to tell the shoulder and arm to move and the shoulder to tell the brain when it feels pain or other sensory information
- 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 reach to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural recovery 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 support proper structure, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it can lead to a breakdown of the whole 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, contact Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder has so many moving parts, shoulder pain can have many root causes, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in St. Charles, 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 the result of the bursae becoming swollen after repeated activities, often occurs at the same time as shoulder impingement, and can make basic tasks like carrying groceries immensely difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two causes of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as throwing overhead or lifting and lowering objects.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or general weakness as we get weaker.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, like lifting an incredibly heavy object, or repetitive movements or old age. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Complete tears, where the tendon is completely detached from 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 popping sensation with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (outer edge of your shoulder blade) pinches the rotator cuff and bursae. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings after 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 humerus is forced out of the shoulder socket, and also can be the result of injury or 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 happens in combination with injury to the supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Chronic 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. It can be the result of old age, repeated trauma, and overuse. There is no cure for arthritis, but you can find effective pain management methods with St. Charles, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and scapula 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 usually significant, and the shoulder will experience substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of 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 commonly caused by sudden trauma but can also happen because of degenerative conditions.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, such as instability that leads to impingement. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a personalized treatment plan with certified physical therapists that specialize in movement health in St. Charles, MO can be a successful way to get you back to optimal movement health.
How Do St. Charles, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized and evidence-backed 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, based on a plan with come up with alongside your doctor, 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 go back to work while your body heals
- 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 make sure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or heal improperly
- 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 for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your St. Charles, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our professional 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.
St. Charles, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is imperative to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for our St. Charles, MO clients by developing evidence-backed treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. You do not have to delay in getting back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.