Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know the limitations it can place on your life. It can make any basic task from watering the flowers to playing volleyball frustrating and, in some cases, unfeasible. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in St. George, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in customized treatment modalities, based on evidence, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Trust in us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Schedule an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. In actuality, what is referred to as the shoulder joint is made up of four different 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. 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 is formed by the junction of the clavicle the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the shoulder blade. A plane style synovial joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint located where the clavicle meets the sternum at the bottom of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the body, it it ensures your arm and body move in coordination.
- 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 part of rib cage at the back of our bodies.
In order to support those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the humerus, which power movement and stabilize the ball of the humerus within the shoulder socket
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that surrounds and protects the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which connect muscle to bone
- 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 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 repair minor damage. 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 the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. 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 no-risk, no-obligation injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder is complex, shoulder pain can have many root causes, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from repeated activities 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. George, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that work as a cushion and gliding surface between tissues. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming irritated after overuse, often occurs at the same time as inflammation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic tasks like getting in and out of cars tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and occupations, such as track and field throwing events or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or the body becoming weaker as we age.
Symptoms include aching, tenderness, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, like 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. Complete tears, where the tendon is no longer attached whatsoever to the bone, do not heal by themselves. Common symptoms are pain with specific motions, pain when sleeping, and a popping feeling when performing certain motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (outer edge of your scapula) irritates the soft tissue in your shoulder. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings because of an injury. Shoulder impingement is most common in people who play sports or are otherwise active.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens 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. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often causes or is the result of injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and a sense of the shoulder “giving way.”
- Arthritis — While there are many types of arthritis, the shoulder most typically experiences osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, repeated injuries, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can find effective pain management methods with St. George, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or forceful collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually severe, 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 stretched, when scar tissue blocks communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves rupture. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, tingling, and loss of feeling in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are usually the result of a sudden blow but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, for example a dislocation causing damage to the nerves. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in St. George, MO may help determine the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in St. George, 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. George, MO can be a great way to get you back to the things you love to do the most.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO
Your customized and evidence-backed physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify degenerative tissue, break down scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your surgeon, if you need surgery to relieve your shoulder pain
- Kinesio Taping® to provide support for your shoulder and allow you to participate in sports 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 harder-to-reach irritated soft tissue to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to make sure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you do not lose your active lifestyle in the future
- Other safe, effective techniques to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law states that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so it’s important to speak to your St. George, MO primary care physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to make sure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Other services we offer in St. George, MO include:
- 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
- Beginner Running Program
- Chronic Pain Treatment
St. George, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is important to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for St. George, MO residents by creating proven treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and desired activity level. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment through our website or reach out to our location most convenient for you.