Shoulder Pain in St. Clair, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the effect it can have on your life. It can make any basic task from pouring a cup of coffee to playing volleyball frustrating and, for certain people, unfeasible. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in St. Clair, MO, our experienced physical therapists are experts at creating customized treatment plans, based on evidence, to get you back to optimal movement health. Allow us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to our location nearest you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. Clair, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most intricate joints. In reality, it is made up of four independent smaller joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the 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 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 helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint formed by the clavicle 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 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 upper arm bone, which allow for movement movement and stabilize and protect the GH joint
- the shoulder capsule, a tough sheath or membrane that encloses the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which attach bones together and provide stability for the capsule
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons 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 supply nutritious blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system being healthy and working together. Blood must be allowed to reach the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue and repair minor damage. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, the ligaments that attach our bones need to be similarly healthy, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from overuse to old age. Below 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 joints. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming inflamed after overuse, often occurs in association with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make daily tasks like laying down to go to sleep tremendously painful.
- 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 needed in some competitive and activities and occupations, such as volleyball or moving objects overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, tenderness, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or more chronic in nature. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial thickness tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, where the tendon is completely detached from the bone, often require surgery. Symptoms include pain with certain motions, pain when sleeping, and a clicking sensation with certain motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (the bony tip of your shoulder blade) irritates the soft tissue in your shoulder. It often occurs alongside an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when the ball of the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become stretched, torn, or detached, and also can happen suddenly or from wear and tear. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often is accompanied by injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Long-term instability will result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are at least six types of arthritis, the shoulder most typically suffers from osteoarthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones degenerates. It can be the result of tissue weakening as we become older, repeated injuries, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management can be found with St. Clair, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and scapula are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They are often the result of falling from a height or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually significant, along with considerable swelling and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are compressed, when scar tissue interferes with communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves rupture. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as 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 determine why you’re experiencing the pain. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in St. Clair, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a personalized treatment plan with experienced physical therapists that specialize in movement health in St. Clair, MO can be an effective way to return to the activities you love.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in St. Clair, MO
Your personalized and evidence-backed physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- 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 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 physical activity or work while your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to strengthen muscles while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- 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 can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law states that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your St. Clair, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our professional physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure you are getting the care that fits into your overall treatment plan.
Other services we offer in St. Clair, 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
St. Clair, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is essential to not only living our every day life, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for St. Clair, MO people of all ages by implementing proven treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. Do not wait to get back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Request an appointment online or call the location nearest you.