Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the effect it can have on your life. It can make any basic task from watering the flowers to making a breakaway layup painful and, sometimes, unfeasible. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes Physical Therapy in Webster Groves, MO, our professional physical therapists are experts at creating 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. Request an appointment through our website or call the location nearest you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO
The shoulder is among human body’s largest and most complex joints. In reality, it is a compound of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint responsible for connecting the upper extremity to the trunk. As the the top of the humerus is 3-4 times larger than the socket, it allows for more movement than any other joint.
- The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is formed by the junction of the collarbone the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A gliding joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint located where the clavicle meets the sternum at the base 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 ligaments connecting it to bone. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the part of rib cage at the back of our bodies.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup that surround the head of the upper arm bone, which allow for movement movement and stabilize and protect the GH joint
- 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 a wide range of movements
- the tendons in the biceps and shoulder 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 be able to work together. Blood must be allowed to reach the shoulder 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 strong, flexible, and free of rips or tears, 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 of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it can lead to a breakdown of the whole system, and anywhere from nagging to debilitating 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’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
As the shoulder is complex, shoulder pain can have many root causes, from sports injuries to acute trauma, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our physical and occupations therapists see in Webster Groves, 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 repeated activities, often occurs at the same time as irritation of the rotator cuff, and can make daily activities like brushing your teeth immensely difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by a tendon becoming irritated. There are two types of tendinitis:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities common in some competitive and activities and occupations, such as volleyball or lifting and lowering objects.
- Chronic: The result of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, throbbing, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or more chronic in nature. They begin with fraying and ultimately tear. A partial tear often goes unnoticed. Full-thickness tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. Symptoms include pain when performing certain movements, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a grinding feeling with specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (the bony tip of your scapula) pinches 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 head of the upper arm bone is exits the shoulder socket, and also can be the result of injury or 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 happens in combination with injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are many kinds 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, frequent trauma, and wear and tear. Arthritis cannot be cured, but effective pain management can be found with Webster Groves, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, 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 immediate and obvious, along with substantial inflammation and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are stretched, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves rupture. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are usually the result of high-impact trauma but can also happen because of wear and tear.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as how an untreated rotator cuff tear can lead to arthritis. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our safe, free injury screenings in Webster Groves, MO may help you discover the root of it. To diagnose shoulder pain a physician in Webster Groves, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a personalized treatment plan with knowledgeable physical therapists that are experts in movement health in Webster Groves, MO can be an effective way to get you back to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO
Your personalized 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, 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 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 results
- Trigger point dry needling to attack damaged soft tissue deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to ensure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or do not heal correctly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective techniques to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Law dictates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so you need to reach out to your Webster Groves, MO physician to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option 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.
Webster Groves, 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 positive outcomes for Webster Groves, MO residents by implementing 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. Schedule an appointment through our website or reach out to the location most convenient for you.