Shoulder Pain in Weldon Spring Heights, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It makes any daily task from watering the flowers to serving an ace on the tennis court frustrating and, sometimes, impossible. But pain and limited shoulder movement does not have to be a part of your everyday life. At Axes Physical Therapy in Weldon Spring Heights, MO, our experienced physical therapists create customized treatment plans, backed by proven research, to get you back to striking out opponents, or just combing your hair pain-free. Allow us to turn your shoulder pain from a daily occurrence into a thing of the past. Make an appointment online or call our location most convenient for you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Weldon Spring Heights, MO
The shoulder is one of the the largest and most complex joints we have. In actuality, it is a multiplex of four joints:
- The glenohumeral (GH) joint is a ball and socket joint where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into a relatively small dish called 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 shoulder blade. A plane joint, it allows your shoulder blade to follow the movements of the other shoulder joints.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint formed by the clavicle the sternum at the base of the neck. This joint is where the arm and body meet, it it ensures your arm and body move in coordination.
- The scapulothoracic (ST) “joint” is more of a “floating” joint as it does not have does not have union by fibrous, cartilaginous or synovial tissues. It attaches and allows movement between the shoulder blade and the thoracic cage.
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 are responsible for movement and stabilize and protect the GH joint
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that encloses the joints in the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which provide passive stability while still allowing for movements in different planes
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which allow muscles to power the bones
- the brachial plexus nerves that allow for the brain and muscles to communicate with each other
- the blood vessels that supply nutrient-rich blood to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons
In order for the shoulder to function properly the entire complex system must be able to work together. Sufficient blood must reach to the shoulder efficiently to maintain healthy soft tissue and stimulate the body’s natural recovery processes. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, 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 help support proper structure, and the brain and shoulder need to have clear communication with each other. When any one of the parts of the shoulder is damaged, inflamed, or otherwise irritated, it can lead to a disruption of the whole system, and anywhere from nagging to debilitating shoulder pain or loss of function. If if shoulder pain or poor shoulder movement is part of your daily life, reach out to Axes’ physical therapists for a no-risk, no-obligation 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. The following are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in Weldon Spring Heights, MO:
- Bursitis — The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as shock absorbers and reduce friction in joints. Bursitis the result of the bursae becoming swollen after overuse, often occurs at the same time as shoulder impingement, and can make basic tasks like laying down to go to sleep exceedingly painful.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. There are two causes of tendinitis:
- Acute: This can happen because of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities common in some sports and fields of employment, such as track and field throwing events or moving objects above your head.
- Chronic: This can happen because of wear and tear or general weakness as we age.
Symptoms include a dull ache, tenderness, and mild swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be caused by acute injuries, like a blow to the shoulder, or more chronic in nature. The tendon is initially frayed before becoming torn. People often live with partial thickness tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, which pull the tendon off the bone, do not heal by themselves. 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 grinding sensation with specific movements.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement is the result of soft tissue rubbing against your shoulder blade. It is often the result of rotator cuff swellings after an injury. Shoulder impingement is rarely caused by overuse, but rather by 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 be the result of injury or overuse. Dislocations can be repeated and partial or the entire bone coming out of the socket. It often is accompanied by injury to the surrounding areas of the shoulder. Chronic instability will result in shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While there are at least six types of arthritis, the shoulder most commonly experiences osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bones. It can be the result of old age, persistent trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management can be found with Weldon Spring Heights, MO physical therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The upper arm bone, collarbone, 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 severe, and the shoulder will experience considerable swelling and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder is the result of when nerves are stretched, when scar tissue interferes with their electric signals, or the nerves burst. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain along with a range of other sensations. They are commonly caused by high-impact trauma but can also happen because of wear and tear.
At times, one injury leads to another, such as a dislocation that leads to damage to the nerves. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, one of our no-obligation, free injury screenings in Weldon Spring Heights, 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 Weldon Spring Heights, MO may use a physical examination, an X-Ray, an MRI, a CT scan, arthrogram, and/or arthroscopy to discover the cause. Most people who experience shoulder pain can find recovery with a customized treatment plan with licensed physical therapists and movement health specialists in Weldon Spring Heights, MO can be an effective way to get you back to optimal movement health.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Weldon Spring Heights, 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, 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 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 target damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons deeper in the body to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you are not inadvertently causing your shoulder pain or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you can keep participating in the activities you love
- Other safe, effective exercises to optimize your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 stipulates that you need a prescription for physical therapy, so you need to reach out to your Weldon Spring Heights, 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 make sure your treatment plan fits into your overall treatment plan.
Weldon Spring Heights, 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 patient results for Weldon Spring Heights, MO residents by implementing proven 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. Request an appointment online or reach out to our location nearest you.