Shoulder Pain in St. Genevieve, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It can make everything from watering the flowers to serving an ace on the tennis court frustrating and, in some cases, not even an option. But you do not have to accept pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in St. Genevieve, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in tailored treatment modalities, backed by proven research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Allow us to make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Schedule an appointment through our website or reach out to our location nearest you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. Genevieve, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. In reality, what we call 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 is the most mobile joint in the body.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the part of the scapula 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 located where the collarbone meets the breastbone at the foundation of the neck. This joint is where the arm and body meet, it it ensures your arm and body move in coordination.
- 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 consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the humerus, 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 four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- 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 supply nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must function well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons connecting them to the bones must be intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our 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 often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. 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 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 our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in St. Genevieve, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between muscles, bones, tendons, and skin. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming swollen after overuse, often occurs at the same time as shoulder impingement, and can make basic tasks like getting dressed tremendously painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as track and field throwing events or moving objects above your head.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or the body becoming weaker as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, throbbing, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, such falling on an outstretched arm, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. A partial tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness 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 sleeping, and a cracking feeling with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (outer edge of your scapula) pinches the soft tissue in your shoulder. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings because of an injury. Shoulder impingement occurs the most in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the head of 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 is accompanied by 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. It is the result of the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones breaks down. It can be the result of tissue weakening as we become older, repeated trauma, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management is possible with St. Genevieve, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most prone to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling from a height or high-impact collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, and the shoulder will experience substantial inflammation and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue blocks communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves are torn into two pieces. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, tingling, and loss of feeling in your upper extremities. They are commonly caused by sudden trauma but can also happen because of wear and tear.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as instability that leads to impingement. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in St. Genevieve, MO may help you discover the root of it. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in St. Genevieve, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can experience relief with a tailored treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists and movement health specialists in St. Genevieve, MO can be a successful way to return to the activities you love.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in St. Genevieve, MO
Your personalized and evidence-backed physical therapy treatment plan 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 physician, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- 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 improve strength while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- Trigger point dry needling to target irritated muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to optimize your mobility
Missouri Law stipulates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your St. Genevieve, MO 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 make sure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
St. Genevieve, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is important 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. Genevieve, MO clients by creating proven treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment online or reach out to the location most convenient for you.