Shoulder Pain in St. Peters, MO. Those who suffer from shoulder pain know how debilitating it can be. It can make any basic task from watering the flowers to diving for a softball painful and, for certain people, impossible. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes PT in St. Peters, MO, our experienced physical therapists create customized treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to optimal movement health. Allow us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Make an appointment online or find the location most convenient for you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in St. Peters, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most complex joints we have. In actuality, it is made up of four independent smaller 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 dish, it has the widest range of motion as any other human joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the clavicle the acromion, the bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. A gliding joint, it allows your shoulder blade to follow the movements of the other shoulder joints.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the clavicle meets the breastbone at the base of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it coordinates 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 is made up of the scapula and its articulation with the ribcage.
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 power 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 help connect bone to bone and provide stability for the capsule
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder 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 supply nutritious blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
Proper shoulder strength, flexibility, and movement depends on every part of the system functioning well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder keep oxygen levels and muscles strong 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 that attach our bones need to be similarly healthy, 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 can lead to a breakdown of the whole system, and anywhere from nagging to intense shoulder pain or loss of function. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, contact 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 a car accident, a work injury from repeated activities to old age. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in St. Peters, 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 inflamed after overuse, often occurs in combination with rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic activities like carrying groceries 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, excessive throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as volleyball or moving objects overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside the joint.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such a blow to the shoulder, or repetitive movements or old age. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial tears unknowingly. Complete tears, which go all the way through the tendon, do not heal by themselves. Symptoms include pain when performing certain motions, pain when sleeping, and a clicking feeling with specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (the bony tip of your shoulder blade) irritates the soft tissue in your shoulder. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings after an injury. Shoulder impingement is most common in people who are physically active.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when the ball of the humerus is allowed to move out of the socket when the capsule or ligaments become damaged, 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 happens in combination with injury to the supporting soft tissue of the shoulder. Long-term instability will cause shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, osteoarthritis is the form that typically affects the shoulder. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones degenerates. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, frequent injuries, and overuse. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management is possible with St. Peters, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the most commonly broken bones in the shoulder. They usually happen as the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-energy collisions such as being tackles in a football game. The shoulder pain is usually intense, and the shoulder will experience considerable inflammation and contusions.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are stretched, when scar tissue interferes with communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves are torn into two pieces. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, weakness, and loss of feeling in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are commonly caused by a sudden blow but can also occur because of overuse.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as an impingement that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in St. Peters, MO may help determine why you’re experiencing the pain. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in St. Peters, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a personalized treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists that are experts in movement health in St. Peters, MO can be an effective way to return to optimal movement health.
How Do St. Peters, MO Physical Therapists Treat Shoulder Pain?
Your personalized and proven 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, based on a plan with come up with alongside your physician, 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 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 irritated soft tissue deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to ensure 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 techniques to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription for physical therapy, so you need to reach out to your St. Peters, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to make sure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
St. Peters, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is essential to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for St. Peters, MO residents by implementing evidence-backed treatment plans catered to your injury, pain level, age, and desired activity level. You do not have to delay in getting back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment through our website or call our location most convenient for you.