Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how debilitating it can be. It can make everything from brushing your teeth to serving an ace on the tennis court 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 Physical Therapy in St. George, MO, our licensed physical therapists are experts at designing tailored treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Trust in us to safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Make an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO
The shoulder is among 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 a ball and socket joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the glenoid. 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 part of the scapula that is the highest part of the shoulder. A gliding joint, it allows your shoulder blade to follow the movements of the other shoulder joints.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint formed by the collarbone the breastbone at the bottom of the neck. This joint is where the arm and body meet, it connects 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 does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. It is made up of the scapula and its articulation with the ribcage.
In addition to those four joints, the shoulder consists of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering 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 four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which affix 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 nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system functioning well. Blood must be allowed to reach the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons attaching bone and muscle 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 parts are not at optimal health, 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 Causes Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder has so many moving parts, shoulder pain can have any of a number of root causes, from sports injuries to a car accident, a work injury from overuse to old age. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in St. George, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because inflamed after overuse, often occurs at the same time as rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic activities like brushing your teeth exceedingly difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and occupations, such as swimming or lifting and lowering boxes.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include smarting pain, 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. People often live with partial tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, which go all the way through the tendon, do not heal by themselves. Common symptoms are pain with certain movements, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a popping sensation with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings because of an injury. Shoulder impingement occurs the most in people who are physically active.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when 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. 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 result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are at least six kinds of arthritis, the shoulder most commonly suffers from osteoarthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones degenerates. Common causes include old age, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management can be found with St. George, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to fracture. They usually happen as the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is usually significant, along with substantial swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves are torn into two pieces. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of sensation in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also happen because of overuse.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, such as how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in St. George, MO may help determine why you’re experiencing the pain. 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 an effective way to get you back to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in St. George, MO
Your customized and proven physical therapy treatments may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to detect and treat any problems with your muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, coordinated together with 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 physical activity or go back to work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- Trigger point dry needling to attack damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to ensure you do not contribute to your injuries or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective exercises to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your St. George, MO physician to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our licensed physical and occupational therapists work alongside your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
St. George, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is imperative to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for our St. George, MO clients by creating evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. Do not wait to get back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to the location nearest you.