Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO. Those who experience shoulder pain know how debilitating it can be. It can make any daily task from watering the flowers to making a breakaway layup painful and, in some cases, unfeasible. But pain and limited shoulder movement is usually manageable and beatable with safe and effective treatment. At Axes Physical Therapy in Webster Groves, MO, our professional physical therapists specialize in personalized treatment modalities, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Let us help you make your shoulder pain an ancient memory. Make an appointment through our website or call the location most convenient for you.
The Human Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO
The shoulder is one of the human body’s largest and most intricate joints. In actuality, 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 several 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 clavicle the acromion, the part of the shoulder blade that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane style synovial joint, it helps extend the upper extremity from the trunk.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a gliding joint formed by the clavicle the breastbone at the bottom 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 ligaments connecting it to bone. It is made up of the scapula and its articulation with the ribcage.
The shoulder is supported and surrounded by:
- 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 biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- the brachial plexus nerves that send motor messages from the brain to muscles and sensory information (like pain) from the joints back to the brain
- the arteries that supply nutrient-rich blood to the shoulder
In order for the shoulder to function properly every joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, artery, capsule, and nerve must function well. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to 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 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 parts are not at optimal health, it often causes shoulder pain and movement problems. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a free injury screening.
What Causes 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. The following are the most common underlying conditions that lead to shoulder pain in Webster Groves, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and other joints. Bursitis occurs when the bursae because inflamed after repeated activities, often occurs at the same time as rotator cuff tendinitis, and can make basic tasks like getting dressed tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis is typically caused by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, repeated throwing, or other overhead activities needed in some competitive and activities and fields of employment, such as swimming or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: The result of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
Symptoms include aching, throbbing, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such lifting an incredibly heavy object, or wear and tear. They begin with fraying and ultimately tear. People often live with partial thickness tears unaware. Full-thickness tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, often require surgery. Associated symptoms are pain when performing specific motions, pain when sleeping, and a clicking feeling with certain movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It often occurs in tandem with 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 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 happens in combination with injury to the surrounding areas 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 form that typically affects the shoulder. It is the result of the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between your bones weakens and wears away. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, repeated trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but you can find effective pain management techniques with Webster Groves, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, clavicle, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to breaking. 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 immediate and obvious, along with considerable swelling 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 interferes with communication between the brain and shoulder, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. These injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, numbness, and loss of feeling in your shoulder, arm, or hand. They are commonly caused by high-impact trauma but can also occur because of degenerative conditions.
Sometimes, injuries are connected, such as a fracture that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-risk, free injury screenings in Webster Groves, MO may help determine the root of it. If you’ve sustained a severe injury or have severe shoulder pain, a physician in Webster Groves, MO may use a physical examination, various imaging techniques, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. For most injuries or conditions that cause shoulder pain, a personalized treatment plan with certified physical therapists that specialize in movement health in Webster Groves, MO can be a great way to return to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Webster Groves, MO
Your tailored and evidence-backed physical therapy treatments 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, 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 sports or go back to work while your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to strengthen muscles 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 can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective treatment methods to increase and maintain your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 dictates that you need a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so you need to reach out to your Webster Groves, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists form a team with your primary care physician to ensure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Other services we offer in Webster Groves, MO include:
- Shin Splint Treatment
- Direct Access Physical Therapy
- Gait Analysis
- Pelvic Floor Therapy
- Dry Needling Near Me
- Tendonitis Treatment
- Manual Physical Therapy
- Orthopedic Rehab Near Me
- Beginner Running Program
- Chronic Pain Treatment
Webster Groves, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
A healthy shoulder is important to not only living our every day life, but to keeping up the active lifestyles we desire. At Axes, we focus on positive outcomes for our Webster Groves, MO clients by developing proven 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. Make an appointment through our website or reach out to the location nearest you.