The shoulder is comprised of two joints, one is located at the point where the clavicle or collarbone meets the shoulder bone (acromion) and the other is the junction of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula). These areas are known as the AC joint and glenohumeral joint respectively.
Both joints are subject to arthritis. Your treating physician must assess where the pain is coming from and which area is affected by the arthritis in order to properly treat your condition.
Types and Causes of Shoulder Arthritis
There are three different types of arthritis that affects the shoulder. These include:
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is often referred to as the 'wear and tear' arthritis. Osteoarthritis annihilates the outer covering of the bone known as articular cartilage. People over the age of 50 are generally more susceptible to this kind of arthritis.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joint lining, known as the synovium. This type of arthritis may affect people of all ages and typically impacts multiple joints on both sides of the body.
3. Post traumatic arthritis
As a result of injury, such as a dislocation or fracture of the shoulder, post traumatic arthritis may develop. This is also a common form of arthritis that occurs after an individual experiences a rotator cuff tear.
General Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis
The common symptoms of shoulder arthritis include pain that progressively worsens over time. The pain can be aggravated as activity occurs and often affects individuals at night when they are resting due to the activities carried out through the day.
Limited range of motion typically occurs in all forms of arthritis due to the pain that ensues over time. As the disease progresses shoulder pain and restricted range of motion my increase.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis
Both non-surgical and surgical treatment options are available for shoulder arthritis depending on how progressive the condition is. Non-surgical treatment consists of resting the shoulder, applying moist heat, undergoing physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatories, applying ice two to three times per day and even taking dietary supplements.
When non-surgical options do not provide relief, surgery may be offered as a form of remedy. The most common surgical procedure is joint replacement, which has predominantly excellent results.
Your doctor can help you decide which treatment option is best for you and your condition. Surgical or non-surgical treatments do provide some form of relief from pain and motion restoration.