Shoulder Pain in Union, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the limitations it can place on your life. It makes everything from strapping on a seatbelt to making a breakaway layup painful and, sometimes, impossible. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes Physical Therapy in Union, MO, our licensed physical therapists specialize in customized treatment modalities, proven to work through research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Let us help you make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Make an appointment through our website or reach out to our location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Union, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most complex 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 responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. Because the ball is 3-4 times larger than the socket, it has the widest range of motion as any other human joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone to the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane joint, it allows for additional rotation of the shoulder blade.
- 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 torso meet, it coordinates 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 ligaments connecting it to bone. It is made up of the shoulder blade and its articulation with the ribcage.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which power movement and keep the ball of the upper arm bone stable
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that surrounds and protects the shoulder
- the four shoulder ligaments which provide passive stability while still allowing for a wide range of movements
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- 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
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must function well. Sufficient blood must flow to the shoulder efficiently to keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. 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 connecting bones need to be similarly healthy, and the brain and shoulder need to have clear communication with each other. When any of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. 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’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to being struck by an object, a work injury from overuse to old age. The following are common causes of shoulder pain that our physical and occupations therapists see in Union, 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 swollen after overuse, often occurs at the same time as shoulder impingement, and can make basic activities like laying down to go to sleep incredibly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of trauma, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and fields of employment, such as throwing overhead or lifting boxes above your head.
- Chronic: This can happen because of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include aching, tenderness, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by sudden trauma, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or repetitive movements or old age. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. People often live with partial tears obliviously. Complete tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. Associated symptoms are pain with certain movements, pain when sleeping, and a grinding sensation when performing specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs alongside an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, and is most common in athletes or others who engage in physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This happens when the head of the upper arm bone is exits the shoulder socket, 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 happens in combination with injury to the supporting soft tissue 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, osteoarthritis is the condition that typically affects the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. It can be the result of old age, repeated injuries, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can find effective pain management methods with Union, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and scapula are the bones in the shoulder most susceptible to fracture. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or high-energy collisions such as a car accident. 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 is the result of when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue blocks their electric signals, or the nerves rupture. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, numbness, and loss of sensation in your upper extremities. They are commonly caused by sudden trauma but can also occur because of wear and tear.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, for example how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in Union, MO may help determine the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Union, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a personalized treatment plan with professional physical therapists and movement health specialists in Union, MO can be an effective way to get you back to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Union, MO
Your tailored and evidence-backed physical therapy treatment plan may include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to detect and treat any problems with your muscles, ligaments, or tendons
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, based on a plan with come up with alongside your surgeon, 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 go back to work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to offer your shoulder a low-intensity exercise with high-intensity benefits
- Trigger point dry needling to target irritated muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to ensure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain 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 Law stipulates that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Union, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is rights for your shoulder pain. Our professional physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to ensure you are getting the care that is safe for your condition.
Union, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is important to not only carrying out daily tasks with ease, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for Union, MO people of all ages by developing evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and the activities you want to get back to. Do not wait to get back to the things you love doing most and a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment online or call our location most convenient for you.