Shoulder Pain in Valley Park, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It can make any basic task from driving to serving an ace on the tennis court painful and, for some of us, not even an option. But pain and limited shoulder movement does not have to be a part of your everyday life. At Axes Physical Therapy in Valley Park, MO, our professional physical therapists specialize in tailored treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Let us help you safely and effectively treat your shoulder pain. Schedule an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you.
How Does the Shoulder Work? | Shoulder Pain in Valley Park, MO
The shoulder is among the largest and most intricate joints we have. In reality, it is made up of four independent smaller joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is the joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the glenoid. 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 bony tip on the outer edge of the scapula. A plane style synovial joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the collarbone meets the sternum at the foundation of the neck. As the only joint that connects the arm to the torso, it it ensures your arm and body move in tandem.
- 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 is made up 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 shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which help connect bone to bone and help reinforce the capsule
- 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 blood vessels that pump nutritious blood to the shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must function well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder maintain healthy soft tissue and repair minor damage. The muscles must have adequate strength and flexibility, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be intact and strong, the ligaments connecting bones need to be similarly healthy, and the nerves need to have a strong and secure connection to the brain. When any of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it can lead to a disruption of the entire network, and anywhere from nagging to severe shoulder pain or loss of function. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a complimentary 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 repeated activities to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Valley Park, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as shock absorbers and reduce friction in joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because swollen after overuse, often occurs in combination with inflammation of the rotator cuff, and can make basic tasks like carrying groceries exceedingly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: This can happen because of trauma, excessive throwing, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and fields of employment, such as swimming or lifting and lowering boxes.
- Chronic: This can happen because of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, throbbing, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, such falling on an outstretched arm, or wear and tear. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial thickness tears obliviously. Complete tears, which go all the way through the tendon, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things you normally can, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a popping sensation when performing specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement describes when your acromion (outer edge of your scapula) irritates the soft tissue in your shoulder. It often occurs in tandem with an injury that causes inflammation in the rotator cuff. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by physical activity.
- Shoulder Instability — This occurs when the ball of the humerus is forced out of the shoulder socket, and also can happen suddenly or from 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. Long-term instability will result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are many kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the condition that typically affects the shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, persistent injuries, and overuse. Arthritis cannot be cured, but you can find effective pain management techniques with Valley Park, 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 from a height or high-energy collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, along with substantial inflammation and bruising.
- 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 are torn into two pieces. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also happen because of wear and tear.
Sometimes, injuries are intertwined, such as how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re currently suffering from shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in Valley Park, MO may help you discover why you’re experiencing the pain. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Valley Park, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a tailored treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists and movement health specialists in Valley Park, MO can be an effective way to get you back to a pain-free daily life and the active lifestyle you deserve.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Valley Park, MO
Your customized and proven 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, coordinated together with your doctor, 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 work while you are still recovering
- Blood flow restriction training to strengthen muscles while reducing overall stress on the shoulder
- Trigger point dry needling to attack harder-to-reach damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons to encourage the body’s natural healing processes
- Posture correction to make sure 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 optimize your mobility
Missouri Law dictates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so it’s necessary to speak to your Valley Park, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our knowledgeable physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan is safe for your condition.
Valley Park, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A well-functioning shoulder is important to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for our Valley Park, MO clients by developing 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.