Shoulder Pain in Woodhine Heights, MO. If you live with shoulder pain, you know the effect it can have on your life. It can make everything from strapping on a seatbelt to playing volleyball frustrating and, in some cases, unfeasible. But you do not need to live the rest of your life with pain and limited shoulder movement. At Axes PT in Woodhine Heights, MO, our professional physical therapists create personalized treatment plans, proven to work through research, to get you back to the activities you love most. Allow us to make your shoulder pain a long-forgotten memory. Request an appointment through our website or find our location nearest you.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder | Shoulder Pain in Woodhine Heights, 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 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 scapula that is the highest part of the shoulder. A plane style synovial joint, it allows you to outstretch your arm.
- The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a plane-style synovial joint located where the collarbone meets the sternum at the bottom 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 more of a “floating” 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.
In order to support those four joints, the shoulder is made up of:
- the four muscles of the rotator cup covering the head of the humerus, which allow for movement movement and keep the head of the humerus firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder
- the shoulder capsule, a soft tissue sac that encloses the shoulder
- the ligaments of the shoulder which provide passive stability while still allowing for a wide range of movements
- the biceps tendon and rotator cuff tendons which affix muscle to bone
- 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 supply nutrient-rich blood to the shoulder
Optimal shoulder and movement health depends on every part of the system functioning well. Blood must flow freely to the shoulder keep oxygen levels and muscles strong and repair minor damage. The muscles strong enough to move and flexible enough to safely make those movements, the tendons attaching bone and muscle must be intact and strong, the ligaments that attach our bones need to help support proper structure, and messages most be able to be sent and received between the brain and shoulder. When any of these functions are not being carried out in a healthy way, it can lead to a breakdown of the entire complex, and anywhere from nagging to intense shoulder pain or loss of function. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain or any other symptoms of a shoulder injury, contact Axes’ physical therapists for a complimentary injury screening.
What’s Behind My Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from sports injuries to falls, a work injury from overuse to our bodies just getting weaker as we get older. Below are common causes of shoulder pain that our team see in Woodhine Heights, 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 overuse, often occurs in combination with shoulder impingement, and can make basic tasks like brushing your teeth tremendously difficult.
- Tendinitis — Tendinitis generally occurs because of a tendon becoming irritated. It typically falls into one of two categories:
- Acute: The result of a sudden blow, excessive overhead motions, or other overhead activities needed in some sports and fields of employment, such as throwing overhead or lifting boxes overhead.
- Chronic: This can happen because of degenerative conditions or the body becoming weaker as we get older.
Symptoms include aching, throbbing, and slight swelling.
- Rotator Cuff Tear — These can also be acute, such falling on an outstretched arm, or more chronic in nature. They usually start with fraying and then tear. People often live with partial thickness tears obliviously. Full-thickness tears, where the tendon is no longer attached whatsoever to the bone, often require surgery. Symptoms include pain when performing specific motions, pain when lying on the side of the affected shoulder, and a clicking sensation with specific motions.
- Shoulder Impingement — Impingement occurs when your acromion (the bony tip of your scapula) rubs against the rotator cuff and bursae. 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 humerus 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 surrounding areas of the shoulder. Chronic instability will cause shoulder pain and unsteadiness when performing certain motions.
- Arthritis — While arthritis refers to a range of diagnoses, the shoulder most typically experiences osteoarthritis. It is the result of the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones weakens and wears away. Common causes include tissue weakening as we become older, frequent trauma, and wear and tear. There is no cure for arthritis, but effective pain management can be found with Woodhine Heights, MO physical and occupational therapists.
- Shoulder Fractures — The humerus, collarbone, and shoulder blade are the bones in the shoulder most vulnerable to fracture. They are often the result of falling a significant distance or onto a hard surface or forceful collisions such as a car accident. The shoulder pain is immediate and obvious, and the shoulder will experience considerable inflammation and bruising.
- Axillary Nerve Injuries or Brachial Plexus Injuries — Nerve damage in the shoulder can occur when nerves are impinged on, when scar tissue blocks their electric signals, or the nerves are otherwise damaged. Axillary nerve and brachial plexus injuries can cause shoulder pain, stingers, tingling, and loss of sensation in your upper extremities. They are usually the result of sudden trauma but can also happen because of degenerative conditions.
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 Woodhine 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 Woodhine Heights, 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 personalized treatment plan with professional physical therapists and movement health specialists in Woodhine Heights, MO can be an effective way to get you back to the things you love to do the most.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain in Woodhine Heights, MO
Your tailored and proven physical therapy may include any one or a variety of different treatment plans:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to identify degenerative tissue, smooth out scar tissue, and treat the affected area
- 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 allow you to participate in physical activity or go back to work while your body heals
- Blood flow restriction training to offer your shoulder a low-intensity exercise with high-intensity benefits
- Trigger point dry needling to target harder-to-reach damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stimulate blood flow
- Posture correction to make sure you do not contribute to your injuries or heal improperly
- Injury prevention so you and your shoulder and stay healthy and active
- Other safe, effective exercises to optimize your mobility
Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription to attend physical therapy appointments, so it’s important to speak to your Woodhine Heights, MO doctor to see if physical therapy is safe and an effective treatment option for your shoulder pain. Our experienced physical and occupational therapists are responsible and work closely with your primary care physician to make sure you are getting the care that fits into your overall treatment plan.
Woodhine Heights, MO Shoulder Pain | Axes Physical Therapy
Optimal movement health is essential to not only living our every day life, but to doing the things we love. At Axes, we focus on patient results for our Woodhine Heights, MO clients by creating evidence-backed treatment plans based on your injury, pain level, age, and how physically active you need to be. You do not have to delay in getting back to the activities you love and a pain-free life. Request an appointment through our website or reach out to the location most convenient for you.