Shoulder Pain in St. Clair, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the effect it can have on your life. It makes everything from brushing your teeth to serving an ace on the tennis court frustrating and, for certain people, not even an option. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Clair, MO, our experienced physical therapists specialize in tailored treatment plans, based on evidence, to get you back to optimal movement health. Let us help you safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Make an appointment through our website or reach out to our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. Clair, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most intricate joints. In reality, what is referred to as the shoulder joint is made up of four different joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Given the relatively shallow dish, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. A plane style synovial joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the clavicle meets the breastbone at the foundation of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it links 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 typical joint characteristics. 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 that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which allow for movement 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 joints in the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which help connect bone to bone and help reinforce the capsule
- 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 blood vessels that pump nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
Optimal shoulder and movement health depends on every part of the system functioning well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue 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 be similarly healthy, 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 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, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a no-risk, no-obligation injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by numerous different circumstances, from sports injuries to acute trauma, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. The following are common causes of shoulder pain that our physical and occupations therapists see in St. Clair, 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 inflamed after repeated activities, often occurs in combination with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic tasks like getting dressed immensely painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities common in some sports and occupations, such as swimming or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or the body becoming weaker as we age.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such falling on an outstretched arm, or wear and tear. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are pain when performing specific movements, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a popping sensation with certain motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs in combination with an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement occurs the most in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the ball of the upper arm bone 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 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 supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Long-term 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 tissue weakening as we become older, frequent trauma, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management is possible with St. Clair, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to breaking. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or high-energy collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually intense, and the shoulder will experience substantial inflammation and contusions.
- 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 along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of a sudden blow but can also occur because of overuse.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, for example how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in St. Clair, MO may help you discover the underlying cause. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in St. Clair, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a customized treatment plan with experienced physical therapists and movement health specialists in St. Clair, MO can be a great way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
How Do St. Clair, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your customized and proven physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify soft tissue restrictions, break down 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 reduce pain and inflammation and keep you safe as you participate in physical activity 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 irritated soft tissue deeper in the body to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to make sure you do not contribute to your injuries or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective exercises to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your St. Clair, MO physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our professional physical and occupational therapists work alongside your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
St. Clair, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder is imperative to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for St. Clair, MO residents by implementing proven 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. Request an appointment through our website or call the location most convenient for you.